Alif the Unseen – Book Review

Alif the Unseen – Book Review

Alif the Unseen –  A combination of technology and folklore paired with horror. It seemed like the ideal story to me. But it turned out not to be what it seemed at first sight.

Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson, Fiction, Book Review in Urdu

It started with an average opening, with an introduction to the main character. Which is a typical average boy/guy, that lives in his own bubble. He almost seemed like a typical teen, as he is described as someone being fed up of life and having lost all hope in humanity. This, mainly due to his ‘amazing’ father, that has left his mother and him and barely comes by to visit. Just makes sure he pays his dues, so that the family can ‘live’. The story continues, where it becomes clear he has married, in secret, a girl from a wealthy royal family. With whom he apparently has already done the ‘deed’ and saved the original bedsheet with all its spots. So far it did not really grasp my attention. But still, I was determined to continue on reading every single word, without skipping any part at all.  Because it’s most definitely been at least a decade since I read a complete fiction book. So I would read it from cover to cover at any cost. Which I did eventually and I have to admit, maybe you will not be as a reader of this blogpost, but I am most certainly proud of myself. ‘Coz I did it!! This does not mean that I haven’t read anything in the past years. I have read several short stories, but mainly non-fiction books and articles. That’s what happens, when you start acting older than you actually are. Which, in my case, is obviously 5, well as people know me in real life, haha!

Going back to the book, after the initial introduction of the main character, the story continues about the actual book he receives.Named ‘Alf Youm wal Youm’, which is the opposite of Alif Laila, also known as 1001 Arabian Nights, so it means 1001 days. Supposedly it was written by a jinn and passed on to humans. The human original was penned down by a french man and Alif, the main character’s online screen-name, goes on a quest to find more information on along with his neighbour, a foreign converted student and yes, you might have guessed it, a jinn! Although, initially, Alif did not believe he was one, but as the story unfolds itself it becomes clear for him as well as his neighbour and the student. They go on a supernatural adventure to discover the details behind this mysterious book. At the same time they are also running and hiding from a man, known as ‘The Hand’, that supposedly works for the government. Whereas in actual fact he wants the book for himself, else I might reveal the full plot, which might not be a good idea if you want to read the book yourself. Even tho I am not really selling the idea of reading this book, haha. Setting that aside, it wasn’t too bad to read actually. I was fully engrossed in the story and I didn’t want the book to end. Unfortunately everything has an end.

Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson, Fiction

Would I recommend the book? Yes.

Could it be better? Yes.

Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson, Fiction, Book ReviewI haven’t written a complete novel myself, yet, and maybe I am too critical and my expectations might have been a bit too high. This is mainly due to the fact that I already know quite a lot on this subject by reading and hearing about it since ages. The story could be expanded on the supernatural element. Where it now seemed like a regular ‘love triangle’ at times, with some supernatural elements combined with an average amount of tech. Which I found a bit disappointing.I would’ve preferred it to be solely based on the adventure and more background about the book itself of which they were trying to dive into the history of. Or at least added a few more short stories in between. Kind of the same like 1001 Arabian nights. Now that we are on the subject, what I did notice was that there were some short stories that I knew from my childhood, like Vikram Vetala. I do wonder if this falls under copyright, considering the story was clearly just copied over and pasted in. I don’t know much about the finer details of copyright in the publishing industry. Well not at the moment. In case you know more about this, leave a comment below to share the information. This way I will get to learn something new as well. Never too late to learn anything, right?

Please do leave book recommendations in the comments below, with good supernatural stories, so no love stories, drama etc. Comment the name of the book and, if possible, the name of the author as well. This can be in English, Urdu and Dutch script. I mainly love adventure, fantasy, horror etc. A combination of this all would be even better.

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