Mark Doten, The Infernal
Doten’s debut is the most audaciously imaginative political novel I’ve ever read. It’s also very “literary,” though couched in a sci-fi premise: In an alternate reality, a Christ figure (“the Akkad boy”) has been attached to an information-extracting machine (“the Omnosyne”) that will feed his soul (“information”) into “the Cloud.” We are to be presented with transcriptions of the stories that have poured out of this boy over the course of a four-day interrogation. But it turns out that he speaks in other people’s voices — voices from our own reality — and what we actually get is a burlesque of monologues and stories that rewrite our own fraught cultural narratives.
— The New York Times Book Review