Incendiaries (Kwon) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Radiant.… A dark, absorbing story of how first love can be as intoxicating and dangerous as religious fundamentalism.
New York Times Book Review

A sharp, little novel as hard to ignore as a splinter in your eye.… In a nation still so haunted by the divine promise, on the cusp of ever-more contentious debates about abortion and other intrinsically spiritual issues, The Incendiaries arrives at precisely the right moment.
Washington Post

Kwon is a writer of many talents, and The Incendiaries is a debut of dark, startling beauty.
San Francisco Chronicle

A stunning debut… After this impressive introduction of her work to the world, we’re excited to see where Kwon takes us in the future.
Marie Claire

Kwon’s multi-faceted narrative portrays America’s dark, radical strain, exploring the lure of fundamentalism, our ability to be manipulated, and what can happen when we’re willing to do anything for a cause.

Remarkable… Every page blooms with sensuous language and the book’s mood is otherworldly, even if its setting, a wealthy college in the Northeast, isn’t… These are characters in quiet crisis, burning, above all, to know themselves, and Kwon leads them, confidently, to an enthralling end.
Paris Review

A fairy-tale quality reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. [The Incendiaries is] the rare depiction of belief that doesn’t kill the thing it aspires to by trying too hard. It makes a space, and then steps away to let the mystery in.
New Yorker

Religion, politics, and love collide in this slim but powerful novel reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, with menace and mystery lurking in every corner.

Written in dazzling, spare prose…Kwon’s novel expertly addresses questions of faith and identity while managing to be formally inventive in its construction.… In this intriguing cult story, Kwon thoroughly explores her characters’ motivations, making for an urgent and disarming debut.
Publishers Weekly

Kwon successfully defines her characters’ depth while maintaining an air of intrigue and suspense. Throughout, she looks at the imperfections in all our lives and how our interactions may lead us down paths unbeknownst to ourselves. With a breezy yet intense style, newcomer Kwon is a writer to watch. —Shirley Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA
Library Journal

A first-time novelist explores identity, deception, and obsession…. The narrative is so slow and so superficial that the climax is anticlimactic.… Aesthetically pleasing but narratively underwhelming.
Kirkus Reviews

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