I feel like this was meant to be a cautionary tale, with an ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ type of message, but maybe I was in the wrong mindset for it, because my reaction was way more on the side of “FRAK YEAH, GET ‘EM!!!”
All of a sudden, teenage girls all over the world develop the power to produce electricity from their fingertips. A (long-dormant? brand new?) organ called a skein, located over the collarbone, allows the girls to create and deploy electricity. Parents and schools panic as groups of girls start to turn the tables on bullies and harassers. Then it’s discovered that the teens can use these shocks to awaken the power in older women.
The story covers decades, jumping along a timeline and covering stories of a few main characters: an ambitious mayor with two daughters of her own, a runaway foster kid who jumpstarts a religion worshipping the female god who bestowed this power, a male photojournalist trusted in women’s circles to tell their stories, and a daughter of an Irish crime boss who uses her power to help her family prosper.
Things get ugly as the years pass, as women relish not only their electrical power, but their new political power as well. Women are taking charge all over the world, escaping from subjugation and sex-trafficking, even starting their own country. Men are learning what it feels like to be afraid to walk alone at night. Up to this point, I was thoroughly enjoying the new world order. Then it takes this thought experiment even further, asking what happens if the women become as bad as the men once were?
I think we’re supposed to think that that’s bad. I’m not sure this was the best time to read this, because right now, I can think of quite a few people I’d enjoy frying right off the face of this planet. So if you’re of a calm disposition and can look objectively at what-ifs, perhaps this is the book for you! But if you’re fed up with a lot of our current systems, maybe put this a little further down in your TBR list. It’s good and interesting, but a little fraught.