The Incendiaries

The Incendiaries

A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea. Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn't tell anyone she blames herself for her mother's recent de A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American univers...

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Title:The Incendiaries
Author:R.O. Kwon
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:The Incendiaries
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:214 pages pages

The Incendiaries Reviews

  • Andrew Campbell
    Aug 04, 2018
    Really disappointed in this one. The story is worthwhile, the themes are even better. But it fails in almost every respect of the telling. First-person was a mistake. Both the primary characters frequently sound like mouthpieces. And why are they telling the story in this way? Th...
  • jo
    Aug 11, 2018
    It is a shortcoming of mine and not a problem with the novel that I could not appreciate what it is like to lose one's faith. I do have faith (I?m catholic) and could not imagine losing it. Maybe I?m too old for that, and maybe this is why Kwon chose to make her characters so young...
  • Sarah
    Feb 19, 2018
    10 out of 5 stars. Wow wow wow are we all discovering a talent in Ms. Kwon. The book is eerie, and unsettling, but also sweet and beautiful... and you read the story from the outside... then all at once a simple narrator change grounds everything, makes it a story you or I could be par...
  • Elyse Walters
    Aug 06, 2018
    Intriguing, tragic, odd.... Will, (white), no longer believes in God. No longer believes in Christianity. He left his Bible College for Edwards University. He?s struggling with identity. Phoebe ( Korean), no longer believes in playing the piano. ?Why continue if can?t be a ...
  • Elaine Mullane
    Sep 11, 2018
    The Incendiaries by Korean-American author, R.O. Kwon has been called one of the most highly anticipated debuts of 2018 and rightly so. In this small but razor sharp book, three Korean-American students' lives are intertwined while attending a university on the East Coast. Will has ...
  • Roxane
    Aug 04, 2018
    This novel about a young woman becoming immersed with a cult is beautifully written and full of propulsive tension. Will, as the primary narrator, is a fascinating character. It is clear he sees the world in a very narrow way, to his detriment and also Phoebe?s, his girlfriend for mo...
  • Ron Charles
    Jul 31, 2018
    ?The Incendiaries? is a sharp little novel as hard to ignore as a splinter in your eye. You keep blinking at these pages, struggling to bring the story into some comforting focus, convinced you can look past its unsettling intimations. But R.O. Kwon, the 35-year-old Korean American...
  • Ana
    Aug 20, 2018
    A dark, eerie, oddly intimate, profound little book! Lots of the novels I?ve been reading lately seem to be revolving, in some way or another, around faith, in all its complexities. Occasionally it?s overtly stated in the blurb, but there are times when even that cannot dampen t...
  • Dianne
    Sep 17, 2018
    I don?t know how to review this book! It?s odd AF but an impressive debut nonetheless. Kwon places three characters at an elite American university and uses their stories to explore the relationships between faith, love, loss, guilt, grief and zealotry. 3.5 rounded up to a 4 for...
  • Rachel
    Nov 07, 2018
    Both concise and disturbing, The Incendiaries may lack the depth needed to tell its story convincingly, but there's something magnetic about it nonetheless. In only 200 pages it follows Will and Phoebe who meet in college; Will has recently lost his faith in God and latches onto Phoebe...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    Mar 05, 2018
    I don't know if I can actually write a review of this book because all of my feelings about it (and there are so many) are extremely personal. My experience with this book is unlikely to be universal, but it's the only one I have to write about. It wouldn't be fair for me to start ...
  • angelareadsbooks
    Aug 10, 2018
    This is one of those books I wanted to love but unfortunately missed the mark for me. The concept itself was interesting enough, but I found it difficult to engage with the characters and plot development. It is possible that there were formatting issues in my advance reader copy, as I...
  • Suzanne
    Aug 08, 2018
    This wasn?t a bad read at all but I had a lot of trouble getting into it, and honestly I did not find the characters very likable. The book was odd but it does stay with you after you close the finished book. I really do not know how to review this book. At a loss really. ...
  • David Yoon
    Sep 06, 2018
    I love how Will's faith, that once burned with a white hot fervour, is still something that he misses. The certainty that faith brings. Phoebe, still plagued by guilt and needing something bigger than herself to believe in, needs that faith. She's pulled between John Leal who is singul...
  • Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
    Aug 26, 2018
    3.5 Stars. Review to come. ...
  • Borce
    May 20, 2018
    I?ll start by saying the version I read is an arc so maybe a lot has changed or will change in publication, but I?m a bit confused by all the glowing reviews of this book. I kept looking to the back cover re-reading the description waiting for the story I?ve been promised to occu...
  • Joseph
    Aug 16, 2018
    The setting: Edwards College, in the fictional town of Noxhurst on the River Hudson, in an unspecified year some time after 2001. The main characters: John Leal, once a prisoner at a North Korean gulag, now the charismatic leader of a Christian cult of hand-picked followers; Phoebe, a ...
  • Rebecca
    Aug 08, 2018
    The Incendiaries is a sophisticated, unsettling debut novel about faith and its aftermath, fractured through the experience of three people coming to terms with painful circumstances. Will Kendall left his California Bible college when he lost his faith. Soon after transferring to Edwa...
  • Sara
    Aug 03, 2018
    While The Incendiaries presented an engaging story, it is bogged down by the writing. Ornate descriptions and archaic word choices detracted from the storyline. Passages like: ?Now that I had time, the hours felt like a wasteland. I crossed it, back and forth. Old ambitions flopped l...
  • Whispering Stories
    Sep 05, 2018
    Book Reviewed by Stacey on www.whisperingstories.com The Incendiaries follows the lives of Will Kendall, Phoebe Lin, and John Leal. The book is written in the third person and in alternating short chapters. Will is an American student studying at Edwards University in New York, he h...
  • Hannah
    Sep 02, 2018
    I have many thoughts about this book and I am very conflicted about my feelings and my rating. As is customary in such cases, here are my thoughts, first in list form than more elaborated: Pros: - prose - the interesting way R. O. Kwon plays with perspective - the subversion of...
  • Rod-Kelly Hines
    Aug 07, 2018
    The Incendiaries is a haunting debut by a writer I will definitely be following with high expectations. It is an intimately told story about loss and the choices we make as a result of our grief. The writing is sharp and propulsive, and the themes are quite brilliantly tackled. I'm lef...
  • Lou
    Sep 07, 2018
    I wanted to grab a copy of this book as it sounded so, so good, but I somehow managed to not download it time, and it was archived on NetGalley before I could get it. I knew I still wanted to read it, so I decided to purchase it, and having now read it, I am pleased I didn't just move ...
  • Emily
    Aug 03, 2018
    This is an incredibly strong book, but it's also deeply uncomfortable to read. This book follows one character's descent into a cult, told from the perspective of her boyfriend. Kwon does an AMAZING job of simultaneously capturing what draws Phoebe towards the cult's leader, John Le...
  • da AL
    Nov 28, 2018
    Alternately poetic and distancing. This book raises interesting push-pull debates over religion and love yet by the end, I wasn't pulled in enough to care... ...
  • Jelly
    Aug 03, 2018
    For me, this was the case of a poorly written blurb inciting false expectations. Prospective readers are told that the novel's narrator Will "struggles to confront the obsession consuming [his girlfriend Phoebe], and the fundamentalism he's tried to escape." This is true. In fact, this...
  • Roman Clodia
    Aug 14, 2018
    A short book and a fast read but the writing style is fuzzy and imprecise so that the whole thing has a foggy, opaque feel. As others have said, the publisher blurb talks this up and gives away the whole plot, such as it is. The idea is good but the book feels oddly detached, more cere...
  • Meike
    Aug 28, 2018
    Why do people believe in God? This question lies at the heart of R. O. Kwon's debut novel, which dives into the psyche of two college students in turmoil. Our main narrator is Will, a former evangelical Christian, who mourns the loss of his faith (yes, he has a telling name). Coming fr...
  • Lo O'Neill
    Oct 11, 2018
    It has taken me a bit of time to get round to reading this one. The blurb really excited me, the cover looks great and I had read some pretty good reviews for it (it was always on Buzzfeed lists of books to read!) but for some reason I really struggled to get the motivation to pick it ...
  • Lauren Halster
    Aug 05, 2018
    "Hip-hop pulsed, rolled. Pale limbs shone." "The room clattered into motion." Inanimate objects verbed. So many inanimate objects did so much verbing. Limbs throbbed. Fingers flew over keyboards. Eyes rolled. Pages flipped. My brain wondered why everyone liked this book so much. Review...