SFF

Rosewater

Orbit: Hachette. (Wormwood Trilogy, Bk. 1). Sept. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780316449052. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316449038. SF
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A mysterious, alien object appears outside of Lagos, Nigeria: a dome that periodically opens to heal those with afflictions and create "sensitives," who have powers of the mind, including telepathy and mind control, along with access to the xenosphere, a shared dream world. A shantytown built around the dome eventually forms into Rosewater. Now in 2066, Kaaro, a sensitive who works as a bank's "mental IT" and for Section 45, a group of governmental agents who use their powers against criminals, lives in Rosewater. A strange illness is killing sensitives, and somewhere in Kaaro's past may be the key to what is happening. The time line alternates between Kaaro's past as a child thief and his current life, with the beautiful landscape of futuristic Nigeria as much a character as the nebulous xenosphere.
VERDICT Thompson's (The Murders of Molly Southbourne) intriguing Afrofuturistic tale features an incredible mashup of alien contact and human-centered power, delivering a stark and gritty story that will keep readers engaged.

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