Your Next Read: ‘The King of Infinite Space’

Caitlin Roeltgen

Have you ever read a book that you never wanted to end? That’s exactly how I felt with The King of Infinite Space by Lyndsay Faye. The author, who you might recognize, also wrote the highly rated novel Jane Steele. King of Infinite Space, based on Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, may be a bit predictable at times, but it still is its own completely unique piece. The story revolves around Ben Dane, son of an affluent and now deceased theater manager. As he deals with his father’s mysterious death, he wants to know just one thing— why? It’s hard to tell whether the death, the drama, or something else is gnawing at him. But maybe it’s everything!

Filled with plot twists and drama, this book is a mystery to anyone reading, although it doesn’t necessarily fall under the mystery genre. Yes, it may seem to be a “find the murderer” story, but it’s much more than that. Every character gets their own chance to grow and develop, leading to an immensely satisfying culmination at the end, which is an essential piece of any captivating book. Beside Ben’s perspective, there are two others: Ben’s closest friend, Horatio, and Ben’s ex-fiancée, Lia.

There’s a slight air of magic clouding the pages of the book, too. What I love most is how each character is so uniquely their own self, and it’s shown clearly in the structure of the novel. Ben’s phrasing often feels spontaneous and sometimes frantic, making me anxious about the unknowns of the future and past, just like him. Horatio, on the other hand, is calmer, and filled with more (oftentimes flawed) love than any other character I’ve ever read about. Their personalities complement each other, telling the same story from vastly different angles. Without both characters, this story would not have been so intriguing to read.

As for Lia, she seems to exist in her own different world. Her and Ben’s lives intertwine, of course, but they don’t physically meet up again until the end of the book. Normally that would be odd, and maybe even boring, but Lia’s own story is just as mesmerizing as anyone else’s.

This book overwhelmed me so much that I didn’t know what to do with myself while I read it (but in the absolute best way possible).Questions were constantly asked and ideas continuously torn and built up again.. Ben, as a physicist, is constantly pondering about the way the world works. And with that is the amount of adoration and care each of these characters hold. The logical and absurd come together in this rollercoaster of a must-read book.

If you’re on your way to the library, you might as well pick up this read, because your  life will be changed for the better.