Also wrote: The Butterfly Mosque; Cairo; Air series; and more
Story: It's interesting, for sure. I haven't yet read a book with the middle east as the setting where the main protagonist is male. But the issues it brings up, the truth behind the facade of this novel still hit their mark. The element of love has you rooting for Alif from the first chapter.
Favorite Quote: "Metaphors are dangerous. Calling something by a false name changes it, and metaphor is just a fancy way of calling something by a false name."
Movie Potential: I have mixed thoughts on whether this would make a good movie or not. On the one hand, there's plenty of action and room for the special effects movies are so known for. On the other hand, the pacing is perfect for a book, but less so for a movie. A lot of the first part of the book would probably be lost and shortened. If anything, this would probably make a decent one-season television series.
Writing style: The writing is educated, not patronizing to the reader in any way. I came across more than one word I had to look up, and it gave me a thrill I hadn't felt since fourth grade, learning new words from a book I enjoyed reading.
Other: The elements in this novel are varied, but fit together well. Romance, danger, philosophy, revolution and society all play roles in the story and overlap without trouble. The different themes and escalating plot, starting from a man on his computer to a full blown revolution taking soldiers from multiple worlds keeps you on your toes, reading as fast as you can. It's not only captivating, but stimulating. It sends your mind reeling and proves to be unpredictable in plot or dialogue.
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars