I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. The following review may contain, at most, the slightest of spoilers.
Let me begin with a dash of honesty – the reason, the only reason, I selected to enter the giveaway for Infinity’s Reach was because I saw ‘Baltimore’ in the description. Post-apocalyptic fiction, especially one with religious connections, is not usually my cup of tea. So the next day, when I found out I actually won, I was actually a bit disappointed. Why couldn’t I have won one of the shiny fantasy books instead? Surely this couldn’t be as interesting – I would probably be miserable the entire time I was reading it.
Boy did Glen Robinson prove me wrong.
Infinity’s Reach is set in an America still reeling in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, with protagonist Infinity and her friends at first ignorant of the true state of affairs. Once Infinity’s eyes are opened to the truth, she begins her quest to find her father. Along the way, she’ll grow from a sheltered schoolgirl into a courageous and strong heroine, despite the many obstacles and betrayals she’ll face over the years of her journey.
I must say, I have rarely had a book so completely upset my expectations, in a fully positive way. I devoured – yes, the word is devoured, this goes beyond mere ‘reading’ – this novel within a day. I started in the afternoon, read for an hour, put it down, and regretted that action immediately. Couldn’t stop thinking about it. Wanted to know what happened next. Picked it right back up again. The pacing was perfect, the mix of flashbacks and present action ideal for giving just enough away to keep the reader excited, but leaving them craving more. Some books hold too much back, frustrating the reader in the process, but I am glad to say that this was not the case here.
Before reading this book I actually went and looked up the Wikipedia article on Pilgrim’s Progress. Naturally I was probably the one person in America who hadn’t heard of it. Let me tell you what amazed me the most about this book – I both knew what was going to happen, and yet didn’t know at the same time! I still don’t understand – how can someone manage to keep you guessing while presenting something that is at the same time familiar to you?
Along with the pacing and the suspense, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters. I found myself rooting for Infinity, her friends, and those who helped her along the way. I remember feeling disgust and disappointment with those who were against her and who betrayed her. I could experience these emotions clearly, because the characters were so real. Had their doubts, their weaknesses – saw their growth, their strength. Perhaps I shall pause here in my gushing and offer one point of criticism – it was difficult for me, at first, reading from Infinity’s friends’ point of view instead of Infinity herself. While I appreciate the change in perspectives throughout the book, I felt that Infinity should have had her turn earlier than the tenth chapter.
To recap, Infinity’s Reach is a book that defied my expectations, with a familiar yet unique premise, with a well-paced story and characters that will leave you unwilling to put the book down until you reach the end. No doubt about it – this book is one that I must highly recommend.