The future that Alderman conjures in her ambitious, exuberant follow-up to The Power is all too close to our own. Unchecked corporate greed dominates the political and cultural landscape; the Sixth Mass Extinction is in full swing; and AI, social media and new gadgets are transforming the way we live, communicate and think.
Against this backdrop, a collection of billionaires, paranoiacs, and idealists including a former cult member and a survivalist influencer co-operate and compete to shape the future of their dreams. With the continuation of much of life on Earth at stake, Alderman’s timely, intelligent thriller is tempered with anthropological, philosophical and religious commentaries which deftly frame the action in the context of entrenched cultural history, the biodiversity crisis, and Deep Time. – Liz Jensen