Book Club: Alif the Unseen

The Charlotte Geeks Book Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month. We read a mix of fantasy and sci-fi novels.

The Charlotte Geeks Book Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8  pm at Park Road Books in the Park Rd shopping center.  Our illustrious leader and supreme book-chooser, Nathan, alternates the book choices between the fantasy and sci-fi genres.  We have a friendly discussion of the novel’s plot points, characters, and themes (that mostly sometimes stays on topic), and then head next door for drinks, dinner and further discourse at Sir Edmond Halley’s.  Order a salmon salad if you are eating delicious and healthy. 🙂

December Selection: Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

When Alif, a young Indian-Arab computer programmer living in an unnamed Middle Eastern city, is spurned in love, he creates a program to spy on his ex-lover that attracts the attention of the “Hand of God,” the mysterious head of the electronic security force that is feared by the cities’ hackers, dissidents, and outlaws. Forced underground to escape the Hand and his henchmen, Alif teams up with his childhood friend, Dina, and the questionable ally, Vikram the Vampire. Armed with an ancient text of the Jinn, the trio embarks on a dangerous adventure complete with car chases, a temple siege, and trips to the Unseen World.

The Charlotte Geeks Book Club meets on the second Tuesday of the month at Park Road Books!

(So you may have noticed that this was December’s book selection…I might be just a little behind on the reviews. Many apologies!)

I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Alif, is a bit clueless at certain points and can occasionally come off as a bit of a brat, but I found that the supporting characters were where the story really shined. Dina was a particular favorite of mine, and I loved how her story played out. I was particularly intrigued by the description of the inside of her veil.  It sounded like this beautiful world that was all her own, and I really liked how wearing the burqa was Dina’s choice, it was her representation of her faith. Her veil was not forced upon her.  It is easy to think of traditional Muslim women as being oppressed or weak, but Dina was a strong, independent woman and quite possibly the strongest character in the story.

The best part of the story for me, however, was the Jinn folklore. I wanted to stay and explore the Unseen World for at least a few more novels, I could get behind a book for each of the 5 types of Jinn.

Although, I do wonder where this guy fits in…


Park Road Books

Would you like to join us next month? You can RSVP here on the Meetup site.

Don’t forget to grab your copy of this month’s selection from Park Road Books for a 20% discount!