Rosewater by Tade Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lately, I've been seeing a lot of novels either set in Africa or Nigeria in specific, ranging from complicated crime tales or wild fantasies or hardcore SF.
This one is more hardcore than most. The SF branches into the Zenosphere, alien-headspaces, biopunk nightmares and symbioses and regular everyday Lagos and Nigerian, in general, misbehavior. :)
This novel is packed to the gills with great ideas, interesting storytelling structure set in two times, and a very interesting re-take on the old trope of telepathy and noir/spy fiction. To speak of the little parts as if they are the best part is to miss the point, however. As a whole, the novel flies through wild magic-realm-like excursions, flesh-eating biomorphs, bank-fraud prevention, and very real alien invasion stories.
Am I impressed? Intimidated? Thrilled?
Yes. All of the above.
But one thing should be made very clear: in some ways, the alien is not so much the SF elements, but Rosewater, itself. Culture is STRANGE. Be prepared for a weird ride. :)
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