Alif the Unseen is a novel about political unrest in the Middle East, fueled by hackers and subversives on the internet who are angry about the way their governments are controlling their lives and cracking down hard on the digital world. This virtual unrest eventually leads to a revolution of sorts, but according to the author, G. Willow Wilson, an award-winning writer of graphic novels working in prose for the first time, the book was already in editing when the winter of 2011 turned into the Arab Spring. Though the story is tempered with elements of the fantastical—it’s also a novel in which the djinn are literal and magic computer code might be able to rewrite reality—that anger gives it an undeniable energy and relevance.But let’s not get too serious. Because like I said: the djinn are real, and at one point, one of them gets trapped in a soda bottle. So this isn’t C-SPAN or anything.Click to read the rest of my review on the new Barnes and Noble Book Blog.