Review of Time goes by… By Hiroshi Nagai
The Al-Alam Revolution is a well-written story of a pretty good length featuring a 15-year-old protagonist in a creatively fictionalized world.
A lot of futuristic novels offer a nihilistic worldview, but thanks to Nili’s idealism, most of the book’s somber undertone is lightened.
The pages were easy to turn in this modern coming-of-age story involving a clash of culture and technology. The reader will likely sympathize with Nili as she seeks to fit in, make friends, and finally extricate herself from the predicament she gets into. All the while we are offered a great perspective through her thoughts and emotions, plenty of description, and well-honed dialogue, presented at an enjoyable pace.
Though the formatting was at 1.5-spaced and section breaks aren’t always clear, the chapters are each a good length. It is an easy read, not too demanding, but you can tell a lot of work went into crafting a convincing setting. The amount of internal monologue is reduced through a consistent third person narration. Sinking into the flow of the storytelling took no effort, though occasional sections featured side character interactions that seemed slightly extraneous.
By introducing the world to Nili at the same time as the reader is introduced to it, the learning curve is less pronounced and we are able to enjoy the world building without getting overwhelmed.
Overall it is a novel in which something is always happening. The motives of the main character are clearly defined and the tension is palpable throughout the latter part of the book. Give it a few chapters and I think you will find it a memorable read.
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