A powerful, darkly glittering novel about violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young Korean American woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea.
Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn’t tell anyone she blames herself for her mother’s recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe.
Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group–a secretive extremist cult–founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe’s Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he’s tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act.
The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most.
My Review: 5/5 stunning stars
I am so excited to share my review of this stunning debut novel by R.O. Kwon today and be part of this blog tour.
When I saw the synopsis of the book, I signed up for the blog tour right away as I knew this book was quite provocative in some ways and it was not like any book I have read before. I started this book on my 12 hours flight from London to Hongkong and I finished it in one sitting. I was not disappointed at all.
You can see from the synopsis that this book touches upon some very sensitive subjects and I think the author tackles it so well by telling the story from three different perspectives: Will, Phoebe and John Leal. Three completely different people but they have one thing in common, that is, in my personal opinion, that they are all lost; lost in their own grief and lost in their own identity. It is one of those books that make you really think from the characters’ perspectives and try to understand the reasons behind their action.
What I love the most is the way the author wrote the story, it started with the climax of the event and then unfolded the story step by step. It really allows the readers to get engrossed in the story and get to know the characters inside out. The writing is very succinct but explosive at the same time. It’s very refreshing and I find myself can’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what happens next.
This book is definitely a gem on its own and I cannot wait for R.O. Kwon’s next novel because I have become a fan!
Thank you so much for Grace and Little Brown for sending me this copy of The Incendiaries to review. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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