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When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico's father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico's father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As swarms of infected Flies roam the earth, these few survivors navigate the woods of post-apocalyptic New England, meeting others along the way, each on their own quest to find life and love in a world gone dark. The Electric Kingdom is a sweeping exploration of art, storytelling, eternal life, and above all, a testament to the notion that even in an exterminated world, one person might find beauty in another.


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When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico's father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico's father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As swarms of infected Flies roam the earth, these few survivors navigate the woods of post-apocalyptic New England, meeting others along the way, each on their own quest to find life and love in a world gone dark. The Electric Kingdom is a sweeping exploration of art, storytelling, eternal life, and above all, a testament to the notion that even in an exterminated world, one person might find beauty in another.

30 review for The Electric Kingdom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    4.5 stars. This book was weird as hell in a really good way. It stuck with me and now I want to read it again to see all the pieces I missed. Like if Walking Dead and Phantom Tollbooth had a baby. Slightly off topic: I don't understand why YA books are so much cheaper than "adult" books when they're so often just as fascinating for any age. 4.5 stars. This book was weird as hell in a really good way. It stuck with me and now I want to read it again to see all the pieces I missed. Like if Walking Dead and Phantom Tollbooth had a baby. Slightly off topic: I don't understand why YA books are so much cheaper than "adult" books when they're so often just as fascinating for any age.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Penguin Teen) for promotional purposes. I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. Wow. This was such an interesting book (in a good way)! When I first started reading it, I was a little confused about what was going on. You get thrown into the world without much explanation. But as the book went on, it was all slowly revealed. I don’t want to give away too much about the plot, but I will say it is sort of circular and kind of trip I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Penguin Teen) for promotional purposes. I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. Wow. This was such an interesting book (in a good way)! When I first started reading it, I was a little confused about what was going on. You get thrown into the world without much explanation. But as the book went on, it was all slowly revealed. I don’t want to give away too much about the plot, but I will say it is sort of circular and kind of trippy (if that makes any sense). It’s a book that you have to read for yourself. By the time I got to the end, my mind was blown. The writing style is so beautiful. It’s very lyrical and poetic at times, but also had a slightly haunting quality to it. This is also a book that would be great to reread. Since you don’t discover everything until the end, it would be fun to reread it and pick up on all the little clues woven throughout the story. Lastly, it felt eerie reading this book during a pandemic. This book is about deadly flies and the flu they carry and it made me think about the situation we are in. Overall, this was a deep and thought provoking story. I really recommend it!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    The latest from David Arnold's seriously f*cking exciting brain (see: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, a personal favorite) is a postapocalyptic nesting doll of a tale, full of tricky resonances and moments of grace. It's luminously compassionate, ceaselessly inventive, and seriously ambitious, and it all just WORKS. It also happens to be a really really good read for this particular time. Other times, also. Just saying I think it's Timely. The latest from David Arnold's seriously f*cking exciting brain (see: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, a personal favorite) is a postapocalyptic nesting doll of a tale, full of tricky resonances and moments of grace. It's luminously compassionate, ceaselessly inventive, and seriously ambitious, and it all just WORKS. It also happens to be a really really good read for this particular time. Other times, also. Just saying I think it's Timely.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paperback

    It's scary how I can just imagine pandemics and relate to them so easily nowadays 😅 In this story, if you venture outside and you're not careful - hordes of mutated flies will carry you off and eat you so yeah you do NOT wanna get caught up in that. Discussed in my March Wrap Up video youtube.com/watch?v=lUFg6j5wWGM What made this book for me was one of the characters, a 12 year old boy called Kit, who made me feel all the feelings - I FELT ALL THE THINGS; afraid, excited, confused. Especially wh It's scary how I can just imagine pandemics and relate to them so easily nowadays 😅 In this story, if you venture outside and you're not careful - hordes of mutated flies will carry you off and eat you so yeah you do NOT wanna get caught up in that. Discussed in my March Wrap Up video youtube.com/watch?v=lUFg6j5wWGM What made this book for me was one of the characters, a 12 year old boy called Kit, who made me feel all the feelings - I FELT ALL THE THINGS; afraid, excited, confused. Especially when there's that light bulb moment - and it got me feeling all thingy because of the thing that happens. At the same time however, I didn’t really feel that much of a connection with any of the other characters but I still enjoyed the story and had to take a minute to process the book after I’d finished it. 4.5 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I really enjoyed this book! I was drawn to this book both by its fabulous cover and its description. I just love a good end of the world story and this one sounded different than others I have read. I found this book to be engaging from the start and before long it became impossible to put down. I found this book to be quite entertaining as well as thought-provoking and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to give it a try. This bo This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I really enjoyed this book! I was drawn to this book both by its fabulous cover and its description. I just love a good end of the world story and this one sounded different than others I have read. I found this book to be engaging from the start and before long it became impossible to put down. I found this book to be quite entertaining as well as thought-provoking and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to give it a try. This book is told from several points of view. First, we meet Nico who has spent the first 18 years of her life in a locked up farmhouse with her parents and their dog, Harry. Now her mother is gone and her father says that it is time that she goes on a journey to Manchester. Kit is a 12-year-old boy who has lived his life in a movie theatre and elementary school in a small town. Eventually, he begins his own journey with two others in hopes of finding a safe zone. We also occasionally get to see the Deliverer's point of view. The Deliverer is rather mysterious but has delivered goods to Nico's family for years and seems to know exactly what to do at times. The characters in this book were very well done. It was easy to care about Nico, Kit, and the rest of the characters because they were all inherently good people. There are still bad people in the world and our group of characters has a few difficult run-ins but the main obstacle is really the harshness of the world. The supporting characters were fantastic and I love that we got to see how much they care for each other and that they still have hope. I found this book to very original. The swarms of Flies were more frightening than I could have imagined and the flu is just as deadly. This is a very dangerous world that these characters must navigate. Just when I thought I had a good understanding of what was happening, the author took the story to a whole new level. The science-fiction elements are very strong in this story and I was completely captivated by the complexity of the story. I would highly recommend this book to others. This was a book that was very hard to put down. I loved the way that the story took unexpected turns that made me question everything that had happened before. I will definitely be reading more of David Arnold's work in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Viking Books for Young Readers via Bookish First.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Justin A Reynolds

    LEMME BE REAL: this book MADE ME FEEL THE THINGS I love most in stories: afraid, seen, devastated, buoyed, & tbh wholly envious I didn't write it 1st, haha. This story is about connectedness and the resilience of even the most broken of people. This story is humanity at its most earnest, at its most vulnerable, at its most hopeful. I loved it. LEMME BE REAL: this book MADE ME FEEL THE THINGS I love most in stories: afraid, seen, devastated, buoyed, & tbh wholly envious I didn't write it 1st, haha. This story is about connectedness and the resilience of even the most broken of people. This story is humanity at its most earnest, at its most vulnerable, at its most hopeful. I loved it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paperback

    4.5 stars! LOVED THIS BOOK Discussed in my March Wrap Up Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUFg6... Sucked into this book from page 1. Another pandemic book but written so well. One of the characters, a 12 year old boy called Kit, MADE ME FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS. His character arc was awesomeeee. 4.5 stars! LOVED THIS BOOK Discussed in my March Wrap Up Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUFg6... Sucked into this book from page 1. Another pandemic book but written so well. One of the characters, a 12 year old boy called Kit, MADE ME FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS. His character arc was awesomeeee.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    Huge thanks to BookishFirst and Viking Books for their awesomeness in letting me read this book ahead of its release date. If you're looking to get your mind blown, you've come to the right place. I'm not talking about my review (that may come off as rambling and full of run-on sentences because THIS BOOK MAKES ME SO EXCITED). I'm talking about David Arnold's latest release which very well may be his best book yet, and I am not lying. David, you cannot outdo this. This was your life's work and no Huge thanks to BookishFirst and Viking Books for their awesomeness in letting me read this book ahead of its release date. If you're looking to get your mind blown, you've come to the right place. I'm not talking about my review (that may come off as rambling and full of run-on sentences because THIS BOOK MAKES ME SO EXCITED). I'm talking about David Arnold's latest release which very well may be his best book yet, and I am not lying. David, you cannot outdo this. This was your life's work and now you may go fish for the rest of your life or do whatever hobbies you want to do because you have done enough in putting this book into the world. Plot: Mr. Arnold drops us into a post-apocalyptic world where massive swarms of bees have overrun and killed most of humanity. A select few survivors navigate this new world, propelled by rumors of a portal, and merely just getting by. Nico and her dog, Harry begins traveling to Manchester to quell her curiosity about a fabled portal said to exist. Along the way, she meets Kit, a boy raised in a movie theater. Together, along with others, they set off together to discover the meaning of their existence in a world that has died. David Arnold must write somewhere on a different plane from the rest of humanity. Either that or his laptop of magicked somehow. I don't know. His writing is exquisite. I found myself pondering over every word, every phrase. Every scene had a much deeper meaning than what was printed. I can't even explain how mesmerized I was while reading this book. It felt like I was chosen to experience it, as if I were listening to someone tell me the meaning of life. This review is sounding all wrong because I cannot get the words out correctly. I deliberated for days on how to start the review and how to finish it, but I've come up with nothing but generic words like, "awesome" and "amazing." This book makes you think so if you're too tired or aren't in the mood to reach into the deeper parts of your subconscious, don't read this book. But if you're looking to get your mind blown, this is the one for you.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    Thank you to BookishFirst and Penguin Teen for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Five brilliant stars for this absolutely amazing book. Honestly, I don’t know how Arnold continues to write such fascinating books but he did it again. The Electric Kingdom takes place post-apocalypse where swarms of flies killed off almost everyone and everything. Nico and her dog have set out to find a place called Manchester and maybe a secret portal. Nico on her journey finds more survivors, one of them be Thank you to BookishFirst and Penguin Teen for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Five brilliant stars for this absolutely amazing book. Honestly, I don’t know how Arnold continues to write such fascinating books but he did it again. The Electric Kingdom takes place post-apocalypse where swarms of flies killed off almost everyone and everything. Nico and her dog have set out to find a place called Manchester and maybe a secret portal. Nico on her journey finds more survivors, one of them being Kit and they team up to find this portal and what is left of the world. Another mysterious character we see is The Deliverer, I don’t want to say much about this entity but it made this book somehow even better than it was. I knew going into this book that it was going to be weird (based off all of Arnold’s other books). This completely went above and beyond the hype and I was captivated from the very first chapter. I thought this was such a timely book to read as we are going through a pandemic in the world right now, it did make this book quite realistic and a little scary. I loved how Arnold starts off the book slowly and we get to discover what is going on in the world. The main characters are just kids, but they have had to grow up real fast and learn to survive in a lifeless world. They have seen flies completely kill off their loved ones in a matter of minutes and then carry them off into the unknown. I really loved how this was much deeper than just what the synopsis tells you. I’m pretty sure that the author knows more about this world than we do because every time I read a book by him; I am so mind blown that it takes me days to even figure out what I read. I mean that all in a good way. The Electric Kingdom was honestly spectacular and by the end I was in tears. Even though this was quite dark and set in a near future it was full of messages that will have me thinking about this book for a long time. The world may seem dark and bitter, but finding the beauty, love, and the meaning to life is what matters. If this wasn’t already on your radar, I hope it is now.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin (erinevelynreads)

    When the catastrophic Fly Flu leaves the world in shambles, few survivors remain. Among the remaining, is eighteen-year-old Nico and her father in an old farmhouse in rural Northern New Hampshire. As Nico’s father’s mental state declines, he sends her and her dog Harry on a journey through the woods to Manchester to find and open a mythical portal. Nearby the farmhouse is someone known only as "the Deliverer" who has lived Life after Life in pursuit of changing the course of events that led to n When the catastrophic Fly Flu leaves the world in shambles, few survivors remain. Among the remaining, is eighteen-year-old Nico and her father in an old farmhouse in rural Northern New Hampshire. As Nico’s father’s mental state declines, he sends her and her dog Harry on a journey through the woods to Manchester to find and open a mythical portal. Nearby the farmhouse is someone known only as "the Deliverer" who has lived Life after Life in pursuit of changing the course of events that led to now. In another town, twelve-year-old Kit is raised in an abandoned cinema, having only known the world after the flies. As Nico sets out on her journey, the lives of the three intersect in unexpected ways. The Electric Kingdom is told in the third person from three unique perspectives: Nico, a teenager traveling alone in the woods with her dog Harry, Kit, a twelve-year-old who has only ever known a time after the flies, and the elusive Deliverer. It imagines a rural post-apocalyptic New Hampshire as a stark and dangerous place. The few remaining are constantly tested by the elements, risk of starvation and dehydration, and large swarms of Flu Flies, carnivorous insects that consume all flesh they come across. But by the same merit, it highlights the intrinsic beauty of a quiet world where simple pleasures like a good book or a comforting meal are all one needs. Originally I wanted to read The Electric Kingdom because it was compared to Station Eleven, a favorite of mine. While this is an accurate comparison, I feel like it does not do The Electric Kingdom justice. The Electric Kingdom is a character-driven novel that celebrates the human need for interpersonal relationships and the struggle to survive in a broken world. It has just the right amount of science fiction, carefully mixed with atmospheric winter scenery. At first, I found the science fiction/fantasy elements a bit frustrating and bizarre. But after a bit, they seamlessly integrate into the narrative until they delicately wrap the story in a neat bow. I will be haunted by the ending of The Electric Kingdom long after finishing the book. I highly recommend The Electric Kingdom for fans of realistic science fiction, especially apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. Thank you to BookishFirst and Penguin Teen for the review copy! All opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen’s Library

    My favorite genre is apocalyptic/post apocalyptic. I’d heard really good things about this book so knew I needed to have it. Well, I just finished and as I turned that last page, my body exploded with goosebumps... Those wonderful emotional kind that lets you know your world was just rocked. This book was haunting, beautiful, twisty, and very mind-blowing. In the year 2025, the world basically ends because of a fly flu. Nico and her parents, Kit and his family, and Lennon and his adopted family al My favorite genre is apocalyptic/post apocalyptic. I’d heard really good things about this book so knew I needed to have it. Well, I just finished and as I turned that last page, my body exploded with goosebumps... Those wonderful emotional kind that lets you know your world was just rocked. This book was haunting, beautiful, twisty, and very mind-blowing. In the year 2025, the world basically ends because of a fly flu. Nico and her parents, Kit and his family, and Lennon and his adopted family all have stories that converge into each other’s. The story is told by alternating POVs between Nico, Kit, and the Deliverer. I absolutely adored Nico, and Kit. And let’s not forget about Harry, Nico’s beloved dog. Beautiful... just beautiful.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Colleen (Colleensreadingadventures) Scidmore

    “𝐌𝐚𝐲𝐛𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈’𝐦 𝐚 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐲𝐥. 𝐃𝐨𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧.”⁣ ⁣ I was really interested in picking this one up because first off it’s a book with a pandemic..yes it’s a fly flu pandemic...but still it hits close to home. 😱😱 Some would stay away because of that but it just makes me curious! Thankfully our pandemic is on the rebound and didn’t turn into an world ending apocalyptic thing like in this book. And second it’s a YA fantasy one of m “𝐌𝐚𝐲𝐛𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈’𝐦 𝐚 𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐲𝐥. 𝐃𝐨𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧.”⁣ ⁣ I was really interested in picking this one up because first off it’s a book with a pandemic..yes it’s a fly flu pandemic...but still it hits close to home. 😱😱 Some would stay away because of that but it just makes me curious! Thankfully our pandemic is on the rebound and didn’t turn into an world ending apocalyptic thing like in this book. And second it’s a YA fantasy one of my favorite genres. So I was all in!⁣ ⁣ Nico is living in a post-apocalyptic world where a Fly Flu has ravaged the world. You either become ill with this deadly disease or get eaten by the actual Fly Swarms themselves consuming human in seconds flat barely leaving bones behind., or are “lucky” enough to try and survive in this new crazy world. When she turns 18 Nico’s Dad sends her on a mythical voyage to try and save the world. She meets friends and foes as she and her dog Harry travel to Manchester. As well as running into The Deliverer who had been her families beacon of hope supplying them every month with essentials. The Deliverer is also on a mission to save the world and is able to frustrating relive their life over and over no closer to the answer to helping the world. Can Nico and/or The Deliverer help their planet or will it continue to destruct?⁣ ⁣ 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬:⁣ There are a gamut of characters throughout the book. Survivors trying to make it through the new world, and of course the crazy, demented or just plain evil others you would expect to see at the end of the world. ⁣ There is also a significant character called The Deliverer, who as their name suggests delivers food and supplies to families on a monthly basis. You don’t know if they are male or female because they are in a space type suit with a helmet at all times. But they are on some sort of time loop and are able to relive. They think is because they are somehow supposed to try and save the planet. ⁣ The main characters are Nico, Lakie, Monty, Kit, Lennon and Loretta, a group of young adults trying to make it to a better place or in Nico’s case Manchester. ⁣ Nico, Lennon, Kit and Harry the dog were my favorites by far. But it was Kit, who is a very mature, kind hearted 12 year old boy with an old soul that touched a special place in my heart. ⁣ ⁣ 𝐏𝐥𝐨𝐭:⁣ It gets a little confusing at times but when you get it, you hit yourself on the head and you’re like “wow that is some intense sh-t!” I feel like this would also make an interesting reread to see if I notice the second time around all the little clues DA left peppered throughout the story before it’s all tied together. ⁣ David Arnold has a way with words. He is an amazing writer which enabled him to pull all these intense feels out of me! I was angry, sad, happy and scared. You name it I felt it. ⁣ ⁣ I have to say I was not expecting to like this. I’ve had some ehhh Arc’s lately and I expected this to be the same. But The Electric Kingdom turned out to be a really delightful read. Not as far as uplifting. Because honestly I had a heavy heart throughout the course of this book. But delightful as far as a pleasant surprise. About 1/2 through I was totally invested in Nico and the band of friends she procured along the way. I’m so glad I gave this a chance because this will stick with me for quite awhile. ⁣ ⁣ 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐧 𝐓𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐠𝐢𝐟𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐀𝐑𝐂 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐲 𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    If you’ve read David’s other stories, you know the characters come first and the plot next. And by characters I mean the the people and the world building, which plays a critical role in The Electric Kingdom. While most YA stories drop you in the middle of the action, The Electric Kingdom slowly unrolls the world through a variety of experiences. You have the adults, who lived in the before. Before a deadly pandemic swept the world. The world we currently live in. You have the youth, Nico and Ki If you’ve read David’s other stories, you know the characters come first and the plot next. And by characters I mean the the people and the world building, which plays a critical role in The Electric Kingdom. While most YA stories drop you in the middle of the action, The Electric Kingdom slowly unrolls the world through a variety of experiences. You have the adults, who lived in the before. Before a deadly pandemic swept the world. The world we currently live in. You have the youth, Nico and Kit, who live in a lonely world without the social constructs we are so accustomed to. And then you have The Deliverer, a mysterious entity that reminds you this isn’t your typical apocalyptic book. This isn’t the apocalypse story of the early 2010s, where teens are trying to save the world. These youth are trying to save their humanity and understand the world they live in - and shifting it into the future, rather than changing back to the before. I’ll just leave it at that. The scary part of this book is that it takes place in a not too distance future, primarily in the 2040s but beginning in 2025. As a person living through a current pandemic, a fictional pandemic that is started by humanity trying to genetically engineer an actual problem hits a little different. David, is there something we need to know? The world is brutal and David does not shy away from describing it that way. These kids have had to grow up far too fast, running for their lives as swarms of deadly flies literally carry off their loved ones, never to be seen again. Through Nico and Kit’s eyes, we see the world and their motivations. The ending left me in tears and wanting more, satisfied and uplifted…needless to say, I felt a lot of things. And yes, the dog makes it in the end.  tw: pandemic, suicide, murder, and a bunch of unnecessary HP references.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)

    QUICK TAKE: I am huge fan of post-apocalyptic books, so I was biased heading into The Electric Kingdom. Still, having read a lot of books in the genre, TEK still manages to carve out its own space and feels unique and fresh enough to stand apart from other similar books. Arnold does a good job building a world ravaged by a pandemic brought on by ravenous and deadly flies (there's a truly scary scene in a church that had me on the edge of my seat). That being said, what really set the book apart QUICK TAKE: I am huge fan of post-apocalyptic books, so I was biased heading into The Electric Kingdom. Still, having read a lot of books in the genre, TEK still manages to carve out its own space and feels unique and fresh enough to stand apart from other similar books. Arnold does a good job building a world ravaged by a pandemic brought on by ravenous and deadly flies (there's a truly scary scene in a church that had me on the edge of my seat). That being said, what really set the book apart for me were the last 150 pages when Arnold snaps together all of these interesting puzzle pieces he's been assembling since the first chapter and elevates the book to another level. I actually went back and read sections of the book again just to appreciate how everything comes together. Really cool book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    **Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House/Viking Books for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my thoughts** I tried. I really did. I have tried to read this book for 5 months now and it took me that long to get to 55% and call it a day. This was not for me. And given I also DNF’d Arnold’s Mosquitoland, I’m guessing Arnold is not for me either. The Electric Kingdom is a book told in three POVs: a teenage girl named Nico, a tween boy named Kit, and an adult fr **Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Random House/Viking Books for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way changes my thoughts** I tried. I really did. I have tried to read this book for 5 months now and it took me that long to get to 55% and call it a day. This was not for me. And given I also DNF’d Arnold’s Mosquitoland, I’m guessing Arnold is not for me either. The Electric Kingdom is a book told in three POVs: a teenage girl named Nico, a tween boy named Kit, and an adult from the future called The Deliverer. Nico and Kit live in a world where a pandemic is caused by blood sucking flies (more on that) and humanity is on the brink of extinction,. They’re traveling to get to a safe place. The Deliverer is a time traveler who keeps experiencing a groundhogs day type span years in which they try to save humanity. (view spoiler)[First off, the flies: are not flies. Towards the beginning, it is explained they were bees mutated by “Russian scientists”. However, if we acknowledge they’re bees, we can’t come up with cutesy names like “Fly Flu” for the illness caused. I don’t understand this point being included nor do I think “misinformation” covers it for why we continue to call them Flies YEARS later when it’s common information they are not, actually, flies. (hide spoiler)] Writing wise, I think the book would work better as either JUST Nico’s POV or JUST The Deliverer’s POV. Kit annoyed the crap out of me. This kid is meant to be 12. He reads EVERY book in a school library and retains all of the information he’s read. Yet somehow, he has the mentality and speech patterns of a much younger kid. If they hadn’t told me explicitly he was 12, I would’ve a guessed 7 at most. He’s read books from our time and yet routinely refers to things in nonsensical “old time” terms. The most common occurrence was “cash bucks”. No book would have referred to money as this term. Even if an adult, who again, LIVED THROUGH THIS TIME, said that in explanation, it wouldn’t make sense that he insists on calling it “cash bucks”. It sounds both juvenile and like Arnold was attempting some referential humor that fell VERY flat for me. Just nothing about this character made sense and I wish he hadn’t been included. Other than that, the plot was just moving too slowly for me and the pacing was weird. The Deliverer had the best sections, followed by Nico, and waaaaaaay at the end was Kit, who showed up and knocked decent pacing to a snail’s pace again. I’m sure there are readers for this, especially as people relate to a global pandemic throwing things off axis, but I did not enjoy this nor would I recommend it,

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    I know I’ve read a good book when I sit while the tears dry on my face unable to do anything but process what I just read. Wow...and I think it makes it better and yet more horrific how much I can see our current disasters lead us to a place at least similar to this imagined future. In this world 2025 leads to an almost life ending dual set of apocalypses. Humans attempted to mutant the fly with a disease to create a weapon and instead created something uncontrollable that would consume next to I know I’ve read a good book when I sit while the tears dry on my face unable to do anything but process what I just read. Wow...and I think it makes it better and yet more horrific how much I can see our current disasters lead us to a place at least similar to this imagined future. In this world 2025 leads to an almost life ending dual set of apocalypses. Humans attempted to mutant the fly with a disease to create a weapon and instead created something uncontrollable that would consume next to all life. In this story pockets of the survivors intertwine more than they even realize. Nico has spent her whole life in a farmhouse with her parents, but her father sends her on a mission she’s heard about her whole life hidden in a story. Kit is an artist determined to finish a perfect painting no matter what it takes. The deliverer brings supplies and helps shape various groups and lives. Time and space feel a little wonky in this story and I feel already like it is a story that will need to be repeated to find the pieces missed the first time around.

  17. 5 out of 5

    ella

    ★★★★★ 4.5/5 thank you to penguinteen and netgallery for the arc! my initial thoughts after finishing this book were “...what the fuck” and i think that is a beautiful metaphor for the entire book this was some weird shit and i loved it. it seems like one of those books that is just BEGGING to be reread because of all the easter eggs and clues you would pick up on that you hadn’t before. the whole thing is incredibly confusing but in that good way in which you know you’re gonna watch everything unf ★★★★★ 4.5/5 thank you to penguinteen and netgallery for the arc! my initial thoughts after finishing this book were “...what the fuck” and i think that is a beautiful metaphor for the entire book this was some weird shit and i loved it. it seems like one of those books that is just BEGGING to be reread because of all the easter eggs and clues you would pick up on that you hadn’t before. the whole thing is incredibly confusing but in that good way in which you know you’re gonna watch everything unfold beautifully right before your eyes. and kit... oh man. what a character. my heart...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tory

    First and foremost: WOW. This book is lyrically gorgeous on par with "Station Eleven," exploring the beauty of humanity even in an abandoned world. Arnold's writing is a poetic, lush experience, populated with realistic and kind characters. And then: the plot begins twisting and unfolding and doubling back on itself, and I realized how exquisitely structured the story is -- like Arnold's last novel, "The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik" (another favorite of mine), reality is what Arnold ma First and foremost: WOW. This book is lyrically gorgeous on par with "Station Eleven," exploring the beauty of humanity even in an abandoned world. Arnold's writing is a poetic, lush experience, populated with realistic and kind characters. And then: the plot begins twisting and unfolding and doubling back on itself, and I realized how exquisitely structured the story is -- like Arnold's last novel, "The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik" (another favorite of mine), reality is what Arnold makes of it. His mind obviously works on a whole 'nother level of perception and it awes me. I'm still not sure if I entirely understood all the ins and outs of "The Electric Kingdom" (I can tell I'll be pondering it for days yet, and probably re-reading it), but I know for certain that I LOVED it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Clark

    Another book from my favorite author of all time? Miracles truly do exist. I already know this is going to be outstanding, as usual.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    4.5* This book was simply lovely! I was quite excited for it from the premise alone, but getting into it, I realized how very emotional of a story it would be. The main characters are alone- not just without family and loved ones, but without a WORLD. The author does a tremendous job of painting the landscape of this desolation, how empty it feels. It's haunting, and incredibly thought-provoking, as I was unable to refrain from considering how I would handle such a situation (not well, frankly). I 4.5* This book was simply lovely! I was quite excited for it from the premise alone, but getting into it, I realized how very emotional of a story it would be. The main characters are alone- not just without family and loved ones, but without a WORLD. The author does a tremendous job of painting the landscape of this desolation, how empty it feels. It's haunting, and incredibly thought-provoking, as I was unable to refrain from considering how I would handle such a situation (not well, frankly). It's very character driven and emotional, but still being exciting and readable. The thought of a pandemic apocalypse is, of course, eerily relevant, but luckily it differs just enough from our current situation to not totally terrify. My only minor complaint would be about the end- I don't know if I am quite satisfied? But enough so that I still wholly recommend the book, especially if you're looking for a post-apocalyptic book with a lot of unique elements!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Not something I would have typically picked up but I fell in love with the cover and the story behind it blew me away. This is the first book by this author that I have read and I would definitely be interested in more. It is told from different perspectives in a post apoplectic world and the way everything comes full circle is fascinating.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ciera

    4.5 rounded up. This book blew my mind! The Electric Kingdom is about eighteen-year-old Nico who is one of the last survivors of the Fly Flu (think COVID-19 but somehow even more frightening). I found the plot to be quite similar to another book I read recently (hint: it starts with “Re” and ends with “cursion”) but I thought The Electric Kingdom was easier to understand without all of the scientific terminologies. The story grabbed me from the very first page and I quickly finished it in just a 4.5 rounded up. This book blew my mind! The Electric Kingdom is about eighteen-year-old Nico who is one of the last survivors of the Fly Flu (think COVID-19 but somehow even more frightening). I found the plot to be quite similar to another book I read recently (hint: it starts with “Re” and ends with “cursion”) but I thought The Electric Kingdom was easier to understand without all of the scientific terminologies. The story grabbed me from the very first page and I quickly finished it in just a couple of days. I highly recommend picking this one up when it’s released on February 9th.    Set in the Northeast, Nico begins a trek mapped out by her father to a portal that Nico has only read about in fictional stories. Nico thinks her father might be crazy but she doesn’t have much of a choice at this point; much of the human population ceases to exist. Along the way, Nico meets other kids around her age that provide a sense of community that Nico has never experienced. This quick page-turner will make you think about the world and what the future holds for humankind. Content warnings: gore, violence, death Thank you the publisher for a gifted copy!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    4.5/5 Stars *I received a free ARC of this book from BookishFirst and the publisher, Viking Books, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.* The Electric Kingdom tells the story of a world in the not-so-distant future ravaged by a deadly Fly Flu, leaving a shell of the world behind and few survivors doing everything in their power to stay alive. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog Harry, on a quest devised by Nico’s father 4.5/5 Stars *I received a free ARC of this book from BookishFirst and the publisher, Viking Books, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.* The Electric Kingdom tells the story of a world in the not-so-distant future ravaged by a deadly Fly Flu, leaving a shell of the world behind and few survivors doing everything in their power to stay alive. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog Harry, on a quest devised by Nico’s father to Manchester to find a mystical portal that Nico thought only existed in stories; a twelve-year-old artist named Kit raised in an abandoned cinema and dreaming of a time when he will be able to see beyond the world of his small town; and the mysterious Deliverer, who lives Life after Life attempting to put the pieces of the world back together. As swarms of Flies roam what is left of the earth, these survivors navigate the woods of New England, crossing paths and meeting others along the way, each on their own path to find light, beauty, and meaning in a world gone dark. The Plot & The World Can I just start by saying that this book was simply mesmerizing? I mean truly mesmerizing and eye-opening, especially during today’s time, which I think greatly came as a result of David Arnold’s descriptive and beautiful writing style. And it was simply unlike anything that I have ever read. Deadly Flies that can devour a person within seconds? A mystical portal that should only be a thing of stories? An ode to art and storytelling? Plus a loyal dog (SPOILER: the dog doesn’t die!)? This book was everything I could have wanted in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic book, especially with everything going on in today’s world. This book is the type to stick with you for days and, even though it can sometimes be hard to follow or completely understand, to be something that you will keep coming back to, pondering, and deconstructing in the future. Despite taking place in a dark and semi-distant future, I really enjoyed the message that this book was conveying about discovering love, companionship, and beauty in a world gone dark and the importance of art, storytelling, and other people in general in finding life and meaning, with these aspects being things to hold onto when the rest world is falling apart and out of one’s control. To be honest, it was hard to get into the book originally because of everything going on, but a few chapters in I was sucked into this post-apocalyptic world alongside Nico, Kit, and the Deliverer and, while it was sometimes hard to completely understand what was going on (especially when it came to the portal and the Deliverer), it was hard to escape to the overall story and its timeliness. Through following these three characters (with most of the story, however, strongly focused on Nico with Kit close behind), the story follows three different storylines that merge and converge at some points—Nico on a quest to Manchester to find a mysterious portal, Kit surviving in and then later traveling outside of an abandoned town, and the Deliverer attempting to piece the world back together one day at a time. While all these characters’ direct goals are different, they all ultimately wish for the same thing—to survive in a ravaged world and to discover themselves along the way. Furthermore, anytime that I read a dystopian and/or post-apocalyptic novel, I always pay attention to the world to see how the author has taken our world and transformed it in the future, including how “believable” it is. This is my first time reading a dystopian book set so close to our current time (the story takes place in 2043 and I am used to books taking place much later) and Arnold blew it out of the park! As someone from New England, I loved all the nods to New England businesses, towns/cities, and landscape and scenery (I LOVED Arnold’s inclusion of Books-A-Million). I also found the world and the circumstances leading to its post-apocalyptic state (deadly, genetically engineered Flu Flies) to be quite shocking and believable at the same time and I enjoyed learning about how people came to navigate the world and the circumstances that they have been thrust into. The Characters I absolutely LOVED the characters in this novel! I really liked the various characters that were introduced both in terms of the main characters and the side characters. I also enjoyed learning about the different circumstances that brought the characters to the points that they are when the novel takes place and seeing how different people and characters have responded to the Flies and the state of the world. Additionally, I liked exploring the different dynamics and relationships between the various characters, especially between Nico and her father, Nico and Kit, and Nico and Lennon and seeing these relationships grow and change throughout the course of the novel. Nico: I absolutely loved Nico! Despite growing up during the time of the Fly and living in a small Farmhouse in the middle of the woods, Nico finds ways to bring joy into her life, especially through books, which I can relate to. I enjoyed witnessing Nico’s character growth throughout the story, learning to trust in her father, herself, as well as in others and finding comfort in traveling with other people as opposed to being alone with her dog, Harry. I loved her determination to accomplish her goal and how fierce she could be in protecting herself and her friends. I really liked her relationship with her father and how despite believing his stories of the mythical portal in Manchester to just be stories, she trusts him enough to venture from the home that is all she has even known to travel there and leave her father behind, even though she knows that she will most likely never see him again. I also LOVED her relationship with Kit and how she became like a big sister to him and how she worked to protect him and keep him safe. Kit: Like with Nico, I also loved Kit. I really enjoyed his outlook on the world, including his dreams for a bigger future outside of the town where he had lived his entire life, and how smart he was about the current world as well as the world before the Flies. Despite being so young, he was definitely wise beyond his years and I was shocked by how he put things about his world and the world before the Flies (our current world) in perspective and I was surprised by his insight. I did find Kit to be a bit naïve at times despite how smart he seemed, but this is most likely a result of his age as well as how he did not grow up in the world before the Flies, learning about this world from his books and his mother, Dakota. I liked his relationship with his mother, Dakota, as well as with Monty and Lakie (view spoiler)[(I feel so bad for him in believing that it was his fault that Monty and Lakie’s parents died) (hide spoiler)] and then later with Nico. (view spoiler)[I was literally devasted by his death and I still do not think that I am completely over it, although I do like how he sacrificed himself to protect Nico, his new friend, and to act as he saw fit as opposed to what was expected of him. (hide spoiler)] The Deliverer: I was really intrigued by the Deliverer’s character and trying to figure out who they actually were (the reveal really surprised me, although I should have seen it coming). I liked how the Deliverer’s chapters were written in first-person as opposed to third-person like Nico and Kit’s chapters, which really allowed for me to understand their thoughts and feelings about everything going on and their secluded life, I just wish that there were more of them towards the beginning and middle of the book opposed to dominating the end of the novel. I was also very intrigued by the Red Books that the Deliverer lived by and used to go about their daily activities, although I did want to know more about the specific actions that the Deliverer took and how they came to these decisions (view spoiler)[(I am assuming that these decisions came as a result of the Deliverer’s past Lives and known experiences as Nico, like bringing supplies to the Farmhouse to keep her family safe and alive, taking Echo to the house knowing that he was living alone, and giving Lakie the gun to protect (younger) Nico and Lennon from Bruno and Gabe, but I almost wish that we knew Nico was the Deliverer sooner so that we could have understood these decisions more) (hide spoiler)] . Like the main characters, I also really liked the side and minor characters, especially Lennon (I enjoyed the bonds that he formed with Nico, Kit, and Nico’s dog, Harry, and his dedication to them as well as learning about his past). I do wish, however, that we got to learn more about the fates of the side characters. While there was some closure towards the end, I kind of wanted to know more about what happened to them and what their lives are like after separating from the main protagonists. I also wish that these characters were a little more developed in some places and that we got to know more about their pasts. The Mythical & Mystical Aspect The entirety of this book carried its own sort of “mythical and mystical” aspect—Nico’s quest, the world, the writing. Despite being set in our world (albeit a post-apocalyptic version of our world around twenty-five years in the future), the story almost carries the feeling of taking place on a different plane from our own, which I think comes greatly as a result of Arnold’s writing style, which is very descriptive, beautiful, introspective, and just really makes you think. While it was sometimes difficult to completely understand the portal from Nico’s father’s stories that Nico is traveling to, especially how and why it works, I was still very intrigued by Nico’s journey and the portal as a whole, although I do wish that there was more of an explanation behind it. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy reading dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy novels or even people who would like to be able to discover a source of light amidst the darkness. This book is definitely going to stay with me for a while and I cannot wait to read more of Arnold’s work in the future!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This story follows three points of view: a close third on Nico, a teenage girl; a close third on Kit, a twelve year old boy; and a first person narration of the Deliverer, a mysterious figure. I liked Nico's sections, and was intrigued, if not fully invested, in the Deliverer's. However, I found that KIt's sections really made the book drag and didn't quite fit with the story. I feel like the entire book would have flowed more smoothly if it had primarily been narrated by Nico with interludes fr This story follows three points of view: a close third on Nico, a teenage girl; a close third on Kit, a twelve year old boy; and a first person narration of the Deliverer, a mysterious figure. I liked Nico's sections, and was intrigued, if not fully invested, in the Deliverer's. However, I found that KIt's sections really made the book drag and didn't quite fit with the story. I feel like the entire book would have flowed more smoothly if it had primarily been narrated by Nico with interludes from the Deliverer. I think we were meant to find Kit wise, older than his age, but I mostly just found him annoying. He had a way of speaking about the pre-fly times like they were centuries ago despite it being clear that his mother was alive during this time; the story takes place less than 20 years after the swarms started. For example, he refers to money as "cash bucks," but why wouldn't Dakota have just told him that people didn't say that? He talks about "people of old," but again, certainly his mother didn't talk about people from her own life that way, so where did he pick it up from? It just seemed really out of touch, and we don't see that language at all from anyone else. I really wish I'd liked this book. There were some aspects of it I thought were really interesting. It just felt unnecessarily long and it took me probably two thirds of the book to actually care what would happen. Overall, I found the story had some good ideas but was ultimately unsatisfying. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Thank you @PenguinTeen and @IAmDavidArnold for providing me with a free physical ARC of The Electric Kingdom to read and review! All thoughts and opinions are my own. TW: Harry Potter references. I finished this book yesterday and my mind is still traveling down the rabbit hole. When I picked it up, I could not put it back down, inhaling it in its entirety as if it were air. This is one of those novels that will stick with you long after you read it. David Arnold has the ability to sweep you along Thank you @PenguinTeen and @IAmDavidArnold for providing me with a free physical ARC of The Electric Kingdom to read and review! All thoughts and opinions are my own. TW: Harry Potter references. I finished this book yesterday and my mind is still traveling down the rabbit hole. When I picked it up, I could not put it back down, inhaling it in its entirety as if it were air. This is one of those novels that will stick with you long after you read it. David Arnold has the ability to sweep you along effortlessly through his twisting tale, making the characters journey through self discovery and the purpose of life after death your own journey. It makes me wonder what universe he lives in inside his brain. This book is full of thought provoking wonder, a compassionate found family, love, and of course - heartbreak. Nico and her dog Harry (spoiler at the end about Harry if you need to know if he makes it) are sent by her father to find a mysterious portal and when her path crosses Kit’s, a 12 year old boy who was born in this post apocalyptic world, they begin to question if their destinies may have already been woven together from the start. The Electric Kingdom will fill you with hope as these kids take on the responsibility to care for one another when all seems lost and try hard to find light in the darkest of places. If you are wanting a book that is truly unique and has a plot that pieces together like a puzzle, transporting you into another world completely, pre-order this masterpiece. The writing is beautiful, deep, and introspective - I already want to read it again. side note - If you are curious about the dog and it's survival ---> (view spoiler)[ The dog survives unscathed. There isn't really even an instance where you THINK the dog won't make it. There's a time or two where she calls for Harry and he doesn't come right away, but he lives and is happy through the entire book! (hide spoiler)]

  26. 5 out of 5

    Storiesandcoffee

    "The world was a sinking ship. Like it or not, we were going down together." While reading The Electric Kingdom, I couldn't help but compare it to the world we are currently living in, and it left me feeling uneasy in a way I haven't experienced from a book in a long time. People dying from an unexplained flu. (Covid.) Murderous bee-mutants. (Murder hornets.) A government that seemed to pacify its constituents instead of having their best interests at heart. (insert 😖 emoji here.) But it also le "The world was a sinking ship. Like it or not, we were going down together." While reading The Electric Kingdom, I couldn't help but compare it to the world we are currently living in, and it left me feeling uneasy in a way I haven't experienced from a book in a long time. People dying from an unexplained flu. (Covid.) Murderous bee-mutants. (Murder hornets.) A government that seemed to pacify its constituents instead of having their best interests at heart. (insert 😖 emoji here.) But it also left me feeling a sense of hope. Hope that art has the power to heal and save. Hope that when someone cares enough, they can make a difference. Hope that we are on a time-ring instead of a timeline, and while things seem grim now, good times will come around again. Reading The Electric Kingdom was reminiscent of my reading experience with Bird Box, (using this as an example to help readers better understand what they are getting with this one,) at times this book was dark and gritty---one scene in particular is especially haunting---but there's also an underlying beauty to this story, the idea that maybe, just maybe, we all live many lives, collecting memories and knowledge to help better us in the next one. Maybe total strangers can become family, and maybe humanity isn't as doomed as we sometimes believe. I was a bit confused in the beginning; it took a bit of time for me to really connect with The Electric Kingdom because I was too busy trying to figure out what was going on, but once I got settled into this world, with these characters, I couldn't put it down. ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This book covered the genres of Young Adult - Science Fiction - Dystopia....all of those genres I like to read. However, this one turned out to be just okay for me. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it. A fly flu comes and decimates the population, but besides that, there are flies that come and carry people and large animals off to be devoured. I'm not entirely sure how that would look or even be possible, but I liked the creativity of that new angle in a Dystopian world. Now as usual, w This book covered the genres of Young Adult - Science Fiction - Dystopia....all of those genres I like to read. However, this one turned out to be just okay for me. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it. A fly flu comes and decimates the population, but besides that, there are flies that come and carry people and large animals off to be devoured. I'm not entirely sure how that would look or even be possible, but I liked the creativity of that new angle in a Dystopian world. Now as usual, with that said, more descriptive detail would have been appreciated. I never felt the terror of the flies (the people where creepier than the flies)....it was more like, "Hmmmm....isn't that interesting!" I just wasn't pulled in. Anyways, this felt heavily orchestrated where everything hinged on the last scene for the big reveal. So 2 stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Hmmm. The writing was beautiful. I enjoyed the characters. But I'll be honest, I prefer my YA to.be a little more straight forward. This book was above my head, or above my desire to engage enough to understand and appreciate it. Post apocalyptic + fantasy + scifi + circular timeline + a philosophical take on what makes life beautiful. I love a lot of those things, but it was too much for me to swallow all together in what I thought would be a quick, easy YA read. Sometimes we want predictable. Pr Hmmm. The writing was beautiful. I enjoyed the characters. But I'll be honest, I prefer my YA to.be a little more straight forward. This book was above my head, or above my desire to engage enough to understand and appreciate it. Post apocalyptic + fantasy + scifi + circular timeline + a philosophical take on what makes life beautiful. I love a lot of those things, but it was too much for me to swallow all together in what I thought would be a quick, easy YA read. Sometimes we want predictable. Props to Arnold for stretching a genre and really expecting more out of his reader, especially teens. I also appreciate that it was relatively clean... Serious challenging older teen themes. A few choice words but used at "appropriate" times. And a very tasteful curtain drawn over the one intimate scene. Maybe I liked it more than I realized, just not the right book for my current season.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tomes And Textiles

    I'm done and I'm devastated. Full review coming this week. I'm done and I'm devastated. Full review coming this week.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    “The earth is 4.54 billion years old,” said Kit. “Humans have been around for 200,000 years. The planet could blink and miss us. Our extinction would be a return to the status quo.” Electric Kingdom by David Arnold is a bit of a mind-bender and I admit, there’s a few chapters that I went back to reread just to make sure I was understanding it correctly. This is a book that I’ll be reflecting on and thinking about for quite some time. The entire world construct that Mr. Arnold developed is both be “The earth is 4.54 billion years old,” said Kit. “Humans have been around for 200,000 years. The planet could blink and miss us. Our extinction would be a return to the status quo.” Electric Kingdom by David Arnold is a bit of a mind-bender and I admit, there’s a few chapters that I went back to reread just to make sure I was understanding it correctly. This is a book that I’ll be reflecting on and thinking about for quite some time. The entire world construct that Mr. Arnold developed is both beautiful and tragic, his writing is gorgeous and insightful, deep and meaningful. The setting is in a post-apocalyptic world with only a smattering of people left behind after a devastating Fly Flu/killer flies devastated the world. One of these people and the main narrator is Nico, she and her dog, Harry travel from their farmhouse, away from her rapidly declining father and recently deceased mother to find a portal that she thought was only a fairytale. Along her journey she meets friends, each with a story of their own but strangely interwoven. The Fly Flu that began the apocalypse is pretty terrifying, especially in light of recent events – pandemics and killer wasps – so yeah, there’s a realistic feel to what could potentially happen. There are some huge twists in the story and this is where the mind-bending comes in. It’s done cleverly and in a way that left me feeling incredibly sad yet strangely hopeful, too. Mr. Arnold illustrates the beauty of human nature; the potential and ability of most people to step up and care for others in the toughest of times which gave the story an extraordinary quality. There’s a uniqueness and originality to this story which really resonated with me. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before; making it really hard to put down and leading to some late-night page-turning and binge reading when I should have been doing other things - SOML. Electric Kingdom has introduced me to a new author, David Arnold and I’ll be picking up whatever he writes. I’d recommend this to any fan of science fiction, dystopian fiction or young adult fantasy. My thanks to Penguin Teen and author David Arnold for providing me with a DRC in exchange for my review.

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