I'm extremely happy to be part of the official blog tour for The Infinite by Lori M Lee and even more to host Lori herself for an interview on the blog!
And since I was also approved on NetGalley for an ARC of the book, I'm also adding my review at the end of the post but before the giveaway! ;)
But first of all, a lil bit of information about both Gates of Thread & Stone and The Infinite!
Gates of Thread & Stone by Lori M Lee
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.
Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
The Infinite by Lori M Lee
The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.
Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.
To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.
In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.
Lori is the author of young adult fantasy novels Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.
Interview with Lori M Lee
I very recently finished reading Gates of Thread and Stone (that damned TBR pile is ever growing and I keep postponing books here and there) and I had no idea that aside from the fantasy setting, there were also so dystopian/postapocalyptic elements and I loved those! How did the mix of both elements came to play in the world you were creating for Gates? Did the world came as fantasy or postapocalyptic first?
The book was originally written as a cyberpunk fantasy. There were hovercycles, virtual adverts, and holograms. The advanced technology in contrast with the grittiness of Ninurta’s slums was initially the groundwork for that cyberpunk/scifi element. Toss in Kai’s powers and the Infinite, and I loved the genre mashup.
However, things changed in editing, and the book became a straight fantasy. But of course, you can still see the influence of the cyberpunk and the roots of where the world of Gates of Thread and Stone original began.
Kai is ready to go to hell and back for her brother, even if he isn't her brother by blood, and I found it very refreshing that the biggest motivator for her was not romantic love but familiar love. Was that a choice you made consciously or did it come from who Kai was and the story you wanted to tell?
It was one of the first decisions I made about the plot. Family is one of the prevailing themes in many of the books I write, so I knew immediately that the best way to push Kai into action would be from a threat to her brother.
The concept of the Infinite is fantastic and both similiar and different enough from gods to be familiar to us all but keep us intrigued and surprise us. How did you decide how your mythology was going to work? Are we going to meet more of them in book 2? (more Infinites in The Infinite, makes sense, right??)
The Infinite began as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That was back when the story was a cyberpunk fantasy. But as Kai’s story developed into a straight fantasy and into its own contained secondary world, the magic and the gods had to evolve as well. Therefore, I created the Infinite as beings that helped to shape and guide the human world—and stir up trouble as well.
As fo your second question... Weeeeeell, you will learn more about the Infinite themselves. Many more things are explained in the second book—things about the world, about its history, and about the role the Infinite play in it all. Just keep in mind there will still be secrets kept for the last book ;)
Thank you so much for coming over Lori, and please check your pockets since Morrigan and Mini-maug have a tendency to try and smuggle out when people come to visit!
Thanks for having me! :)
I had preordered The Infinite before I had even read Gates of Thread and Stone, and I when I got approved for this eARC I was beyond happy! It was fantastic having it there once I reached the ending of GoTaS!
The Infinite was exactly what a sequel needs to be. There are some ongoing issues that are addressed here, if not resolved, and also the world get broader and bigger. The characters must deal with the consequences of the battle at the end of book 1 and all the mysteries that were revealed.
I will clearly try my best to keep my review spoiler free for this book but I might discuss some reveals from book 1 that could be spoilery, so you have been warned!
Kai has put an end to the regime of Kal Ninu, but dealing with the consequences is never as easy as it could be, and the citizens of Ninurta and the politicians are both in turmoil. There's mistrust of the new leadership, inestability and although Kai wants to make things better, change is very hard to implement, not matter if it's for the best.
And not only Kai is mixed on politics now, she's also dealing with her heritage and meeting her father, her new relationship with The Infinite but also with Avan's new situation. Not having lost him was amazing for Kai, but she is no longer sure if she has or hasn't lost him after all.
Avan is quite an intriguing character in this book because he is both familar and alien. He is quite confused himself too because he's lost his memories but he still has some feelings and reactions that he cannot explain, and he is sure that he feels something intense and important for Kai, but he has some insticts now that make him also a different person.
And then our plot takes us to new places, because we discover that Ninurta is not alone, there are more humans and more city and some of them quite closer than anyone (except maybe Kal Ninu and the other Infinites) could have imagined or known. And meeting them is both a joy and a danger and Kai finds herself in a position where she would have never imagined she'd be, having once again to make choices that pull at her different sides: human and not human, duty and family... And I love that this book never really goes down the usual path.
The relationship between Avan and Kai is rather different now and much more complicated since even if the feelings are still there, as intense as ever, so much has changed on who they are, Avan even more than Kai. There are small hints of a third person but I wouldn't say it makes a love triangle, because Kai's feelings and Avan's feelings haven't changed.
We learn some more lore about the world about the Infinite but there's still so much more to learn and I do hope we'll get loads more info in book 3! Also after that ending... No, there's not exactly an awful plot cliffhanger, because the main plot theme is resolved and the battle is finished, but there is an underlying plot line that has just been started to unravel and that I cannot wait to see how it plays in the next book!
And of course, emotionally... damn, that ending! Kai will continue to fight and her choice to be strong and finally accept all of who she is will be very interesting to read, but yeah, I really need to get the next book to see how everything plays out and hope someone comes back properly!!
A fantastic sequel, very much deserving of 4 stars!