It’s hard to resist a book that has a thumbs-up from Margaret Atwood. The Power imagines a world where men live in fear of female power, where faiths arise following the wisdoms of Mother Mary, and wayward young women gain cult status. There are definite nods here to Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and the Gardeners of Eve in her 'MaddAddam' series. Alderman has created a piece of speculative fiction that pushes to the brink the idea of a physical ability which enables the disenfranchised to regain equilibrium in previously male-dominated society, but it also enables the more ruthless to secure the social status and political clout they desire. The Power, an electrical current which resides in a skein near the collarbone and is administered through the hands, develops initially in girls of 15, but within very little time can be triggered from one to the other and to older women. The charge, depending on how controlled it is, can cause pain, severe injury and death. The most interesting characters in The Power are: Allie, an American runaway foster child, who has reinvented herself as Eve, becoming a messiah figure with the help of the social media and YouTube; Roxy, the savvy child of a criminal father who heads a powerful drug syndicate operating from working-class Britain, whose Power is triggered when she witnesses the murder of her mother in a retribution killing; and Tunde, a young Nigerian from a wealthy family, whose personal experience as a teen leads him to become fascinated by these powerful women and to a very successful career as the reporter who is trusted to capture the stories of the increasing popular and powerful women, as well as their opponents, male-dominated counter-terror groups. All their stories are fascinating, and, as time progresses and we find ourselves in a countdown to a climactic happening, their lives become more intertwined and life becomes increasingly dangerous. This is a thought-provoking exploration of gender, the nature of cults and conformity, power and abuse.
What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?
Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.
Winner of Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2017.
The Handmaid's Tale for the Gone Girl generation --Grazia
A stone cold genius -- Sarah Perry
The Hunger Games crossed with The Handmaid's Tale --Cosmopolitan
The Power is a subtly funny, lyrical and utterly subversive vision of an impossible future. As all the best visionaries do, Alderman shines a penetrating and yet merciful light on to our present and the so many cruelties in which we may be complicit -- A. L. Kennedy
Electrifying! Shocking! Will knock your socks off! Then you'll think twice, about everything -- Margaret Atwood
The Power is a fascinating look at what the world might be like if millennia of sexism went the other way...as a whole the narrative feels ingenious...deserves to be read by every woman (and, for that matter, every man) --The Times
A feminist science-fiction story that's about to make waves Red If you enjoy Margaret Atwood's dystopian fiction, this strong, substantial novel is for you. --Woman & Home
Alderman is a fluent and powerful writer Sunday Times Thought-provoking novel Glamour When we say that The Power is profoundly disturbing and you may well want to argue with it as you read, we mean that in a good way. -- SFX, Five Stars
As awesome as it is compulsive --Heat, 5 stars
What starts out as a fantasy of female empowerment deepens and darkens into an interrogation of power itself, its uses and abuses and what it does to the people who have it --Guardian
A raw, gutsy slice of speculative dystopia Metro Like the best science fiction, this dystopian feminist fantasy holds up a mirror to the here and now --Mail on Sunday
A gripping read and a reminder of the true joy of a truly engaging story --Stylist
Frenetic sci-fi novel --Daily Mail
Naomi's super-charged, subversive novel...forcing you to rethink everything. -- Psychologies
It's a feminist dystopian page-turner of a thriller and I'm IN LOVE with it -- Marian Keyes
Naomi Alderman is the author of three previous novels: Disobedience, The Lessons and The Liars' Gospel. She has won the Orange Award for New Writers and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. She was selected for Granta's once-a-decade list of Best of Young British Novelists and Waterstones Writers for the Future. She presents Science Stories on BBC Radio 4, she is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and she is the co-creator and lead writer of the bestselling smartphone audio adventure app Zombies, Run!. She lives in London.