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Author: WendyBG Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 189951  
Subject: OT? Novel with IT hero Date: 1/30/2013 8:13 PM
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Is a novel with an IT hero on-topic for the computer board?

I have just finished an enjoyable, well-written and best of all surprising novel with an IT hero and a strong internet freedom-based backbone.

http://www.amazon.com/Alif-Unseen-G-Willow-Wilson/dp/0802120...

"Alif the Unseen," by G. Willow Wilson, is superficially a Neal Stephenson book crossed with "The Arabian Nights," with a soupcon of "Harry Potter" thrown in.

It's actually quite unique. Ms. Wilson is an excellent writer who easily holds her own in this august company. Her characters (human and non-human) are well-developed, strongly differentiated, often likable and develop believably as the story progresses. Her story is full of action and emotion ranging from terror to humor to romance. Her descriptions are fully-developed in all senses and beautiful in many places.

I have read so many books that I'm quite jaded in many genres. I liked "Alif the Unseen" because it is culturally exotic and has surprises on every page. I was really engaged by this story and sorry to see it end.

The backdrop for "Alif the Unseen" is the culture of the Arab Gulf oil state. I'm about as personally familiar with this as I am with the other major culture in the book, the unseen world of the jinn. I can't judge how accurately Ms. Wilson portrays the culture of (poor, despised) guest workers vs. (rich, high-status) Arabs, but the denouement resembles events seen in other Arab nations on the news every night.

I would give this book 4 stars -- much better than average. (I save 5 stars for books that change my life, which is a quantum leap above entertainment.)

If you are an IT professional and would like to project yourself into an alien but somewhat familiar computer culture (in which even the jinn need help with their stupid computers), I recommend "Alif the Unseen."

Wendy
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