Regular price: $28.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: There's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, The Power is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.

©2017 Naomi Alderman (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    996
  • 4 Stars
    421
  • 3 Stars
    129
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    25

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,069
  • 4 Stars
    270
  • 3 Stars
    92
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    30

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    909
  • 4 Stars
    369
  • 3 Stars
    145
  • 2 Stars
    42
  • 1 Stars
    23
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A necessary read

This book is phenomenal.

At times, it addresses social issues as tongue in cheek. In other instances, the commentary is presented in as all too real and difficult to swallow.

I do not want to give anything away, but this novel really makes you think about our current social climate, politics, "human nature," power dynamics, and the like.

If you enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale, 1984, or any other sci-fi novel focused more on social commentary, then this is the book for you.

On top of that, Adjoa Andoh's narration is wonderful. Her accents are great, her character voices varied, and her delivery is exceptional. She creates suspense through pregnant pauses (pauses that are not as grammatically clear in the printed copy of the book) and appropriately quickened sentences. That description may seem generic, but I struggle to find narrators who truly pay attention to the story and deliver with appropriate conviction.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Audio Performance

Super weird science fiction set in the near future that seemed oh so real to me. Some parts bordered on horror and language was edgy so this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was a very satisfying read at this moment in history. What woman would not want the power to shock the daylights out of someone (read: a man) with just her thoughts! Kudos to Naomi Alderman for her creative twists and turns and for making me see the world we live in now from a new angle. Would love to discuss this one with a friend over coffee or a glass of wine. Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Faulty Premise

It was (or could have been) a good story, but what it devolved to was channeling the worst fears of the whiny MRA set, who believe that women, if empowered, will turn around and do to them what they've been doing to us for all of recorded history. I don't buy it. Some women would be jerks if they had physical power over men, and there would be some retaliation in play, but not to the degree it has been happening to us all these centuries. Honestly, women roaming around in packs, gang-raping men? Nah. It isn't just a case of they'd do it "because they can" as the author assumes. There are examples of women in power who are tyrants and there are examples of women in power who are not - mostly, they are not. Women, when empowered, make excellent and fair executives, bosses, and professionals. Empowered women actually create the best societies. The author believes that women, empowered, would simply devolve into packs of wolves. I don't buy it. That said, the story and characters were interesting and the reading was well-done.

29 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant idea, executed pretty darn well.

I've been waiting for this book for some time. The premise sounded fascinating. For the most part, it didn't disappoint; certainly, it gave me a lot to think about. The multiple narrators were probably necessary (think Winds of War), but didn't allow us to really get invested in them, maybe with the exception of Roxy (but that might be partly the result of Andoh's brilliant rendering of her particular voice). Speaking of the reader, Andoh absolutely nails the multiple British and Nigerian speakers, but her American voices are as usual more caricature than character: either excessively nasal or excessively Southern, both with occasional lapses into British ("been") pronunciation and sounding just kind of simple. Her Eastern European accent is almost comically Dracula-like (yeah, I know, Romanian, but still). But if there's anyone to really root for-- and sometimes we need that --, it's Roxy.

Is it a feminist book? Maybe? I mean, yes, it makes you think about what we expect of women and men, respectively. I was watching a football game today and wondered how guys would feel if men in tiny tight outfits were dancing around athletically on the sidelines. But it's mostly a book about what happens when one gender (country/class/group) has more power than the other: some people can handle it with something like fairness, some are transformed into monsters. Alderman explores this idea with intelligence and curiosity rather than a glaring agenda (thinking of the self-justifications Mayor Cleary becomes adept at employing). Alderman also incorporates social media and conspiracy communities into the story well, acknowledging the impossibility of controlling a government or movement or religion once the ball gets rolling. But the book feels a little uneven, possibly rushed in the second half especially: the timeline of events is a little over-constructed, and the new (5000 years after the Cataclysm) society is awfully and maybe implausibly similar to our own. Maybe it should have been a trilogy or something, Oryx-and-Crake style.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I "should" have loved this book...

I normally love well-written speculative fiction. This one, not so much. The premise was interesting—it’s asking readers to think about what would happen if roles were reversed and women had the power instead of men—but that was about the only thing I liked.

Generally, we meet the female characters when they discover their power. The inciting incident is usually violent, so we don’t ever see them “before.” Well, that probably would have made no difference because at least with two of them, their lives are already filled with violence. And that was my problem with the book. It was relentlessly violent and depressing and basically says women would be as bad as, if not worse than men, if they ran the world.

If I could have connected with or even liked any of the characters, that might have changed my perspective on the book. Although at least Roxy and the one male character were slightly interesting.

I just didn’t find it very nuanced. Just as I didn’t believe (in another recent book I read) that almost all men would dissolve into sadistic rapists and murderers three weeks after the world ended, In this book, I didn’t believe all women would become this power mad, sadistic, etc. to the point that in 9 years they blow up the world.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Top Book of 2017? I Couldn't Get Halfway Through

Any additional comments?

I'm honestly surprised that this book was on the NY Times' and NPR's "Best Books of 2017" lists. I have to assume that it is due to the timeliness of the concept, and the possible conversations around it. However, I got about 4.5 hours into the book, and it had not yet meaningfully engaged with those ideas. On top of that, the book is written in such a bland, predictable, unchallenging manner, that I went back to double check I hadn't picked a book from the Young Adult section of these lists.

Unfortunately, Adjoa Andoh's performance detracted from the story rather than elevating it. Her accents are over the top and cartoonish. We get heavy handed treatments of a southern belle, a hispanic nun in the US (who is voiced as Catalan rather than South American), middle eastern prisoners, and a Slavic head of state. Her British street urchin and African teenager are a little better, but still laid on quite thick.

All in all, I don't see (hear?) what any of the fuss is about. There has to be a book out there that does a better job with the interesting questions The Power attempts to pose.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting premise, clever elements

The premise was fascinating and there were many clever elements. The central characters were fairly well developed, but the story rests more on navigating the central plot more so than conflict or twists, save for a few minor ones. I thought it was ingenious to use unsympathetic characters to illustrate human beings’ capacity for inhumane behavior even when stereotypical gender roles are reversed. It was sobering though to see how damaging patriarchal societies can be, by shining a light on societal norms through a matriarchal lens.

With regard to the voice actor, the “American” accents were terrible - to the point of distraction. I had previously listened to another book voiced by Ms. Andoh and she did a fine job. Further, Brits - even non actors - can usually do a passable American accent, so this was disappointing. No one speaks like this! It was beyond caricature. That said, it was probably a bridge too far to require a single actor to accomplish the wide range of US regional accents, genders, and ages, in addition to all the international accents. The Nigerian, Middle Eastern, and East European accents weren’t horrible, although far from accurate. The East Indian and presumably Latin American accents weren’t great either. It would perhaps have been more believable to just use her English accent throughout. She did, of course, do a good job with the nuances of regional English accents - Cockney-like for the gangsters, Queen’s English otherwise.

Overall, a decent read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Corrupts absolutely

I think you can pretty much count on this review to be spoilery.

There are a lot of pros and cons to this book. When I first started it I was all yeah, girl power, sisters are doing it for them m'fing selves, you go girl, etc. And then it went a direction and while it was at times very clever, I was disappointed in the direction it went.

Which begs the question - does gender matter? Or is Power alone the issue. This book has it at Power and because of that, as a woman, I felt less empowered. Which will only make sense for those who have read it, I guess and ruin it for everybody else. Haha. I did warn you. Though this book was relatively the anti-Handmaid's Tale, ultimately both books left me feeling the same.

The structure was clever, particularly the end. The author nailed condescension. I liked the museum interludes, though I was at times perplexed about when this was supposed to take place. It felt futuristic, but there was mention of iPads and such, so I'm assuming it was now and the "cataclysm" was 1000-2500 years ago?

I would have liked to have seen a book where the women didn't ultimately just become men, and see how that would have turned out. Would definitely have been less clever, but perhaps we could feel a bit more hopeful at the end of it.

Great fodder for discussion.

I listened to this and the narrator drove me up a tree. She's actually a great narrator, but there were just TOO MANY ACCENTS god, woman, I get it, you think you are good at all accents. Well, I have news for you, you sound like caricatures not characters. I keep walking around my house doing her "Russian" accent and am now driving myself nuts.

Worth reading for sure. Thought provoking, but ultimately left me feeling hopeless.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Cheap and tropey

Thought this would be a creative study of power dynamics and how physical strength is an overlooked factor. Instead it was just a piece of tropey dystopian lit. Gender swapping a patriarchy isn't innovative or challenging. Overall, it was like Hunger Games, a movie pitch in book form. Cheap.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The audio performance is OUTSTANDING

As Alderman describes it, the premise is a thought experiment on what if the gender power balance was flipped. This reading of this book is dynamic, captivating, and filled with different voices for each character. By far the most entertaining audio book I've listened to in a long time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful