Tag Archives: R. O. Kwon

The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

37801132. sy475
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 death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe.

Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group--a secretive extremist cult--founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe's Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he's tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act.

The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most.

I read the Kindle edition.

I don’t remember what brought me to this novel, nor did I know anything going in.

This was complicated. Through a lot of the story, I just wasn’t sure what was going on. I couldn’t tell what to believe, or what characters, if any characters deserved my sympathy. It was a short novel but it was dense with information.

This is not a novel to read casually. In fact, I need to go back and reread it again when I am not distrated. There is a lot to process, in such a short time.

I’m not giving this a rating because I don’t know what to think. It was one of those books that I know I didn’t like-but at the same time, feel in awe by how complicated a story this was and how R.O. Kwon was able to manipulate everything so you really do not know who’s to be trusted, who’s telling the truth and what the truth is.

“People with no experience of God tend to think that leaving the faith would be a liberation, a flight from guilt, rules, but what I couldn’t forget was the joy I’d known, loving Him.”

R.O. Kwon, The Incendiaries