Womb City

Erewhon Bks. Jan. 2024. 416p. ISBN 9781645660569. $27. HORROR
Critically acclaimed Motswana author Tsamaase’s strong full-length debut (after the novella The Silence of Wilting Skin) combines African futurism and revenge horror to tell the story of Nelah, a woman living in a near-future Botswana, where most people have a microchip that monitors their behavior, and crime, especially murder, is nonexistent. Readers are swept into the story immediately, as the complicated details of the world and its characters are relayed with confidence, and the dangerous plot, including Nelah’s race against time, unspools at a compelling pace with intrigue coming from multiple angles—thriller-esque twists, deadly secrets, and the history and mythology of the place itself. But like the best dystopian tales, this novel is universally provocative as it seriously contemplates topics such as AI, spirituality in modern society, bodily autonomy, grief, love, motherhood, and family.
VERDICT Tsamaase, like Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, is a rising star in African speculative fiction whose work will appeal to readers from across the globe, especially fans of Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, and Blake Crouch.
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