In this winner of the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African, a Nigerian detective with psychic powers begins to investigate a mysterious sickness plaguing those like him and uncovers sinister truths that may very well call into question the survival of the human race.
...when I tell you that Rosewater is a science fiction mystery that is simultaneously about an alien invasion and a man trying to avoid being murdered, I do so knowing that each of those elements may conjure familiar generic conventions. If you add them up, you’ll have a relatively good sense of what reading Thompson’s first novel in the Wormwood Trilogy is like. But at a certain point in the book, you may find yourself dramatically reassessing those assumptions while spinning backward and cringing with horror-tinged delight. I urge you to throw your hands up and enjoy the ride.
Tade Thompson’s debut novel, published in the US in 2016, is brilliant science fiction, at the cutting edge of contemporary genre ... Thompson expertly juggles all his disparate elements – alien encounter, cyberpunk-biopunk-Afropunk thriller, zombie-shocker, an off-kilter love story and an atmospheric portrait of a futuristic Nigeria. The book is sharply plotted and well written, with Kaaro’s narration achieving a sort of louche, disengaged charm ... [a] stellar debut.
...a fast, tense, pacy, interesting book ... It reminds me a little of Elizabeth Bear’s Jenny Casey trilogy, and a little, too, of Ian McDonald. It’s not really into soft edges ... Thompson is a talented writer with a gift for voice and characterisation ... Rosewater’s narrative hops back and forth across the decades—the 2040s, the 2050s, and 2066. Gradually, it builds up a picture of Kaaro and his world ... Thompson is a talented writer with a gift for voice and characterisation. Our protagonist, Kaaro, is Rosewater’s narrator, and his first-person account is full of personality. Thompson makes him a concrete individual with a definite presence ... pretty damn good.