Review - The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold

The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Date Read:  February 7, 2021
Length: 432 pages
Source: First to Read
New York Times bestseller David Arnold’s most ambitious novel to date; Station Eleven meets The 5th Wave in a genre-smashing story of survival, hope, and love amid a ravaged earth.

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.
My Review

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.
About the Author

David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite, Mosquitoland, and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik. His books have been translated into a dozen languages.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. This sounds out of this world and the cover is awesome.

  2. I've read one of David Arnold's books and have enjoyed it, definitely need to add this to my arsenal. Just wondering if the multiple POVs will be confusing?

  3. I've been seeing a lot of good reviews for this one! This sounds unlike anything I've read. I like the sound of the characters and the multiple POVs. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  4. Sounds interesting and that cover is just so pretty!

  5. Fantastic review! I might enjoy this one except sort of YA and right now with COVID, maybe not?

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  6. Oh neat that it was great worldbuilding that still had some good surprises later into the story. That is an amazing cover.

  7. This is on my January list of books, but I don't have the book and have waited to hear a little more about it. I'm glad that you liked it! Good review!

  8. Glad to hear you enjoyed this. I am not a sci-fi fan, but I have loved Arnold's past books.

  9. What a gorgeous book cover! I can see why it caught the eye!

  10. sounds interesting and i love that cover
    sherry @ fundinmental

  11. This sounds so good! I am adding it to my wish list. Thanks for the great review!


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