‘Infinity Kings’ Review: Adam Silvera Brings His First Trilogy to a Heart Pounding Close


“For those who followed me to the end of infinity.”

Adam Silvera’s first trilogy has officially come to close with the release of Infinity Kings, the finale in his contemporary fantasy Infinity Cycle. Infinity Kings picks up mere moments following Infinity Reaper’s ending, after Brighton has exposed one of his brother Emil’s biggest secrets: Emil has lived two previous lives. Now, with Brighton on an increasingly dangerous power trip to save the world his way, Emil, Ness, and the Spell Walkers (sans Maribelle) must work to stop Brighton before he goes too far.

As if that wasn’t enough, the group are still facing two additional threats: alchemist Luna Marnette and presidential candidate Senator Edward Iron. Maribelle and the Halo Knight Tala set their sights on Luna, wanting to avenge their parents and Maribelle’s partner Atlas. Meanwhile, Ness attempts to use his shapeshifting abilities for good, wanting to put an end to Iron’s hate-fueled campaign before he can take the presidency.

Note: This review does not contain Infinity King spoilers.

With Infinity Kings being the trilogy finale, everything from the previous two books must come to a head, not only in its plot, but with its characters — and they go through the wringer. Silvera maintains his four-narrator structure — Emil, Brighton, Ness, and Maribelle — but for me, Brighton especially caught my attention. Since Infinity Son, Brighton has been a character who is, quite frankly, unlikeable, and somehow gets progressively worse throughout the series. It’s exactly that progression that makes him such a compelling character. Though the Infinity Cycle only takes place throughout the course of a few months, Silvera uses him as an example to illustrate how quickly an ego can be someone’s undoing, whether Brighton himself views it that way or not. With Brighton as an integral narrator, readers see every justification Brighton makes to himself; they see how willing he is to abandon his family in favor of his pursuits, and it’s kind of terrifying. (I personally had several, “Brighton, what the f-“ moments.) Moreover, Brighton is an excellent example of the power social media holds, for better or, in Brighton’s case, for worse.

On the other side is Emil, who continues holding on to his morals and humanity despite everything happening. With Brighton being a growing threat, Emil must contend with his brother in a way he hasn’t before. As such, the burden of being the Infinity Son begins to weigh on Emil even more. Something I think Silvera does well with Emil in this installment is really examining how much everything affects him. Much of it readers have already seen in the previous two books, but as the situation becomes more dire, it takes a greater toll on Emil and those around him. At many times, reading Emil’s narrated chapters felt nearly hopeless; his brotherhood with Brighton is crumbling, and the world seems like it’s completely against him. However, through Emil, there are also glimmers of hope for a better future — but much like real life, it doesn’t come easily. It’s something Emil and the others learn to embrace along the way.

Similarly, Ness and Maribelle face their own ongoing struggles as they come to terms with major revelations and other obstacles. While their life circumstances are different, they both continue dealing with grief in their own ways — Ness and the unfortunate consequences of being Senator Iron’s son, and Maribelle with the death of her parents and love of her life, Atlas. In Ness’ case, the group’s rush to stop Iron from becoming president reveals even more about Ness and how he aims to unlearn and fix what Iron did to him when he was younger. Maribelle also attempts to undo some things in her life, which showcases more of her drive to get what she wants. Maribelle was especially interesting to me in this installment largely because her primary goal doesn’t at first seem to serve the greater group (as she had previously left the Spell Walkers) but ultimately ties in with the end goal in pivotal ways.

To date, Infinity Kings is Silvera’s longest published novel, and he doesn’t waste a single page. As with the prior two books, Kings builds upon everything readers already learned and then some. Powers such as retrocycling, characters like the Halo Knights, and, of course, phoenixes have a greater opportunity to shine. Everything is fleshed out, with well-built action that leads to equally well-executed payoffs. Additionally, Silvera does not hold back in anything this time around, leaning into the heightened stakes of Kings. (Adam, you will be getting billed for my therapy.) Beyond the more stressful scenes, the story also holds onto its social relevance, unhindered by the time between each book’s release — a testament to Silvera’s writing (and a scary reminder of real-life issues).

The Infinity Cycle is Silvera’s first published foray into the fantasy space, and he more than proves his ability to write stories in the genre. He blends his contemporary style with fantasy elements to bring his readers something fresh while maintaining his recognizable traits as an author. Infinity Son was a solid start in the series which only continued to improve with the subsequent follow ups. He delves into a variety of tough subjects reflected through all of his characters, offering up something for anyone who picks up the books. The trilogy as a whole is a propulsive story that also allows each installment to stand on their own. And whether Silvera returns to the fantasy space down the line or not, the Infinity Cycle is a memorable and worthy inclusion in his repertoire.

Infinity Kings is available now online and in stores.

Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds who joined the team in 2019.

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