Infinity Reaper: Infinity Cycle, Book 2
By Mandie Caroll,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Bonds fray, but hope survives in exciting superhero sequel.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A minor character is genderqueer and referred to using they/them pronouns, which may be a new term/practice for some readers.
Family isn't always those you are biologically related to; you can also chose people who love and support you as family. Try to understand and empathize with someone who has done wrong, while also holding them accountable. Take responsibility for hurtful things you've done and work to make them right. Work to heal anger and trauma so you can thrive again. Love, self-care, and joy can happen in the bleakest circumstances; they make enduring hardship possible.
Positive Role Models
Emil is thoughtful, kind, and dedicated to making the world safe from corrupted magic. Brighton shows some growth around checking his ego, but his dangerous, hurtful choices threaten his close bond with Emil. Maribelle is driven by grief to avenge the murders of her parents and her beloved partner. Ness suffers abuse at the hands of his powerful father, but he strives to expose the truth anyway. Good and bad exist in these and other characters; their struggles feel authentic and relatable. Characters are mostly young adults; they are gay, bi, straight, and genderqueer. Many characters are Latinx. Characters' skin color is described as brown, dark brown, or pale. Two primary characters are fat, and advocate for fellow fat celestials.
Violence & Scariness
Battles involving magical powers like wands, hand-generated fire balls, swift speed, possessing a person and making them do horrible things, telekinesis, and more. A blade is used to stab multiple people, and while there is lots of blood, and fears of dying/death, no one ever actually dies. In the goriest scene, a main character kills a violent specter by pulling his heart out of his chest.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Main characters kiss, make out, and have sex with same-gender and opposite-gender characters, though there are no graphic descriptions of sex. Condom use is included. Shirts, a bra, underwear come off, but nudity is not described in detail.
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Two uses each of "s--t," "ass," and one use of "d--k."
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Products & Purchases
Instagram and YouTube are mentioned repeatedly, as these are the channels Brighton uses for his Celestials of New York profiles. One reference to the fictional "Wolf News," a conservative news network.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Specters sell "Brew" a potion that can make non-magic people feel magic for a little while. Some specters are captured and charged by the government for selling this hallucinatory potion, but selling and using is not described in this book.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Adam Silvera's Infinity Reaper is the sequel to New York Times best-selling Infinity Son, and the second book in the Infinity Cycle trilogy. Emil and Brighton Rey, 18-year-old brothers, escape a battle with the Blood Casters, an illicit gang of specters (people who acquire powers from the blood of endangered mythical creatures). But Emil almost died and Brighton drank a potion he hoped would make him immortal and unkillable, but that is instead killing him. Emil and his Spell Walker friends must use their powers to save Brighton and the world, before both are irreparably damaged. Battles involve the use of superpowers and magical and non-magical weapons such as spell wands, gem grenades, crossbows, and daggers. Several violent murders committed by villains and heroes are described briefly. Main characters kiss and make out with same- and other-gender love interests; one has sex including condom use, but there are no detailed descriptions of sex or nudity. A handful of swear words includes "s--t," "ass," and "d--k."
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
INFINITY REAPER is told in the four alternating viewpoints of Brighton, Emil, Ness, and Maribelle. Emil's phoenix powers are weakened from battle and Brighton is dying from the Reaper's Blood potion. The Blood Casters want them destroyed, while the government pursues them for terrorist acts they did not commit. Emil believes that Ness, who could credibly clear Emil, Brighton, and the Spell Walkers, is dead, but he's actually being held captive and abused by his ruthless presidential-hopeful father. He endures, waiting for the right moment to alert Emil and the Spell Walkers that he is alive. Maribelle allies with Tala, a powerful non-magic guardian of phoenixkind, to avenge the murders of their parents and Maribelle's beloved partner by Blood Casters. Emil, Brighton, and the Spell Walkers hide at a phoenix sanctuary with Maribelle and Tala. There, Emil seeks to recreate a potion that could rid specters, himself included, of their unnatural powers, and it would save Brighton as well. But when Brighton shows signs that he's not on board, Emil is terrified not only of losing his brother, but also of the chance at peace that the potion represents.
Is It Any Good?
This gripping fantasy sequel set in a near-future New York is eerily familiar. In Infinity Reaper, celestials (people born with superpowers) and specters (people who acquire powers from endangered mythical creatures) are pitted against those lacking superpowers in a contentious presidential election year. The celestial vigilante group the Spell Walkers have kept the specter gang the Blood Casters in check for decades, but the anti-power movement frames them all as terrorists to be locked up in special prisons, called Bounds, to prevent the use of any powers at all. This premise is an accessible way for teens to explore the 2020 U.S. election, media literacy, identity-based divisions, police brutality and justice system failures.
The richly developed characters are authentically true to life. Sweet romances and scenes of rest and rejuvenation amidst war advocate self-care and connection with others as an antidote to hard times. A satisfying page-turner, this tale includes thoughtful, nuanced explorations of morality, family relationships, and trauma. Though the violence may disturb some readers, it is not without purpose, and devastating consequences are shown. Given all Silvera gets right, brief moments of confusion amidst the multiple storylines and Brighton's ongoing unlikability can be forgiven. This wonderfully executed follow-up ends in typical cliffhanger fashion, stoking fans' appetite for the final book in this thrilling trilogy.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about ideas of right and wrong in Infinity Reaper. Which characters do right more than wrong? What are some examples of characters trying to address hurtful things they've done? Describe a moral dilemma you faced and how you decided what to do.
Which scenes of violence have stuck with you the most? How did the use of magic and superpowers in battles affect your experience of the violence described? Why do you think the author included violent and bloody deaths?
Talk about the representations of gender, sexuality, body size, and skin color in this book. Which identities caught your attention and why? How does the inclusion of a diverse cast affect you as a reader?
- Author: Adam Silvera
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Activism, Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Quill Tree Books
- Publication date: March 2, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 592
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: March 25, 2021
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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