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The Power book review: Wattage and Womanhood

book review

A book club evening with “The Power” left me in a heated debate with my old college roommate, Clara. She and I have always been on opposite poles, me with my classics and she with her sci-fi. But Naomi Alderman’s “The Power” was a battleground of a different kind. It was a book that felt familiar, like a tale whispered in the corridors of time, yet so piercingly modern. If Alderman’s story could blur the boundaries between our two worlds, it surely must be a force to reckon with


Imagine a world where women have an inherent advantage—a physical one. Teenage girls and women suddenly discover they possess the ability to release electric shocks from their fingers. It begins subtly, but soon this newfound “power” overthrows the societal balance, as every power structure—political, religious, and familial—shifts, tilts, and capsizes. Alderman navigates us through this electrifying world with multiple narrators, each illuminating a facet of this recharged society.

7 Notable Quotes

  1. “When you wield the power for long enough, it’s hard to recall how it felt to be without it. To be the victim. So you justify.”
  2. “It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.”
  3. “Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn’t. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not. Tap on it and it’s hollow.”
  4. “This is the trouble with history. You can’t see what’s not there.”
  5. “You’ve been told that the way the world is is just natural. But it’s not.”
  6. “What are we doing? Are we playing at gods? The shape of power is always the same.”
  7. “She thinks of all the men from history, and what they were allowed, and what they did.”


Remember when I debated with Clara on what makes a ‘classic’? Here’s what I learned from “The Power”: A classic disrupts. Alderman’s prose isn’t just clever; it’s like lightning, zigzagging between thought and emotion. The novel doesn’t just reimagine a world; it dissects ours. Its narrative offers more than a gendered flip—it holds up a cracked mirror to our societal structures and forces us to acknowledge the fissures. And that ending? It’s like the aftershock you didn’t see coming but can’t forget.

Rating: 5/5

TV or Film Adaptations

The book’s impact was felt far beyond the printed page.

“The Power,” the bestselling novel by Naomi Alderman, has been adapted into a British science fiction drama television series. Developed by Raelle Tucker, Naomi Alderman, Claire Wilson, and Sarah Quintrell for Amazon Prime Video, the show provides a fresh perspective on the book’s gripping narrative.

Series Details

  • Release Date: The first season premiered on March 31, 2023, and concluded on May 12, 2023.
  • Developed By: Raelle Tucker, Naomi Alderman, Claire Wilson, and Sarah Quintrell
  • Platform: Amazon Prime Video
  • Number of Episodes: The first season consists of nine episodes.

“The Power” TV series is set in a world where women suddenly develop the ability to generate electric shocks from their hands, which leads to a significant shift in the power dynamics between men and women. As the series unfolds, it explores the consequences of this newfound power on individuals, relationships, and societies.

“The Power” TV series offers an intriguing exploration of themes related to gender dynamics, power, and societal structures, much like the novel. With its compelling storyline and thought-provoking themes, the series is a must-watch for fans of the book and newcomers alike.

Sony Pictures’ 3000 Pictures has acquired film adaptation rights to Lucy Foley’s new book, The Paris Apartment in 2023.

Author Bio

Naomi Alderman, the genius behind “The Power”, isn’t a one-trick pony. Besides being a laureate of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, she’s dabbled in gaming narratives and was even mentored by none other than Margaret Atwood. Her literary prowess and tech-savvy background have given her a unique voice that’s both pertinent and profound.

FAQ or Reading Questions

  1. How do Alderman’s descriptions of the “power” itself evolve over the course of the novel?
  2. If you had to choose a single narrator to represent the essence of the book, who would it be and why?
  3. Alderman delves into the idea of corrupted power. How does she use her characters to reveal the spectrum of power’s impact?
  4. Compare and contrast the world before and after the manifestation of the “power.” Which societal changes struck you the most?
  5. The novel is structured as a historical account. How does this framing affect your perception of the story?

Where to Buy
Ready for an electrifying ride? Secure your copy from Amazon.

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