The Desperately Slow ‘Infinity Rises’

As a forewarning, Infinity Rises is second in The Infinity Trilogy by S. Harrison. If you haven’t read the first book, you may want to consider it as this review will contain spoilers.

The beginning of Infinity Rises is set a few hours after Infinity Lost, but a hell of a lot has happened — and Finn has no idea what. As she loses consciousness, she relives the moments which led her here through the memories of Infinity.

Still trapped in Blackstone Tech, Finn and her classmates are facing nightmare robotic creations under the control of a broken Onix. Desperately injured and barely alive, Finn is dragged underground to safety by Bit.

It sounds interesting, I know. Sorry about that, because if you thought Infinity Lost was tedious, then you better brace yourself. This brings slow to a whole new level.

The first quarter of the novel barely pushes the story forward, with line after line of filler. While Harrison’s disgusting descriptions remain lucid, this must be one of the most non-climatic books in entirety. There are no moments where you hold your breath, no pages you grip so tightly your knuckles turn white. Rather than giving us any form of excitement, Infinity Rises presents us with an agonising wait for something – anything – interesting to happen.

Infinity Rises CoverTo set a slightly dramatic, quick pace, it starts with talk of how unwell Finn is, how she must recover and more of those damn flashbacks. By now, the intrigue of her dreams has worn off and they feel like exposition-ridden fillers. It isn’t until Finn locates the memory of the previous few hours that anything really happens, and even then it’s drab.

Once Infinity takes over Finn’s body, we have a whole new narrator to warm to.  Fortunately for us, Infinity is easier to like than her other half. She’s a sarcastic warrior, caring purely about her survival. Her snide attitude provides some mild comic relief, but as the book continues, the fire inside her begins to cool.

Harrison’s decision to let us know that Finn and many of her classmates survive before the action begins is really quite infuriating. He opts to disregard the notion of “show, don’t tell” by informing us of a number of developments. Now it’s just a matter of trudging through the story to find out how we got here. There’s no tension to be felt as these kids fight for their lives, which is a desperately bizarre statement.

The differences in how characters relate to Finn and Infinity provides some sort of food for thought. Captain Delgado was just the father of sweet Carlo to Finn. In Infinity Rises, his clash with Infinity shows it’s an entirely different dynamic. It’s an interestingly clear demonstration of how a persons behaviour can be so vastly different depending on who they’re dealing with. However, I wouldn’t recommend the book just to discover what I mean.

It’s enjoyable to continuously see the rise of novels with female leads in the young adult genre. Both Infinity and Finn continuously show us their strength. It’s a clear clash with the repeated stereotype of undeveloped, weak female characters to be seen in other media. Diversity should only ever be encouraged, but neither Infinity nor Finn are anything special overall.

Infinity Rises is the worst in the trilogy, acting as a stretched-out filler of a book. Much of it feels unnecessary, giving few answers to our many questions without stirring any curiosity. Almost the entirety of the novel feels irrelevant and unnecessary. While we receive an insight into Infinity, it just feels like Harrison was offered a trilogy book deal for a two-part series idea and took it.

Certainly not a must-read, but not exactly a must-not.

If you’d still like to grab a copy, you can find it right here. And if you want to see how the final book in the series turns out, here’s Infinity Reborn.

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