One of the Dominican Republic's most prominent fiction writers narrates the story of Acilde Figueroa, a former sex worker and maid in post-apocalyptic Santo Domingo who finds herself at the heart of a voodoo prophecy: only she can travel back in time and save the ocean—and humanity—from disaster.
...beguiling but wonderfully thrilling ... From beginning to end, Tentacle is a strange, unnerving, and at times beautiful book that critiques global inequality and the politicization of climate change. Moreover, it throws into question the rigidity of time-old categories of gender, race, and spiritual beliefs. Excitingly, it also amplifies a Dominican voice on the matter of climate change, which as Tentacle makes clear, has already impacted the Caribbean in devastating ways.
A dry, sardonic tone anchors the pulpy narrative, with its bloody violence, brutish sex and futuristic flourishes, all seasoned with bitter humor and a hint of the occult ... Whether we would really want to change the past, given the opportunity, is one question posed in this blast of a novel; what it is to act beyond self-interest is another. Tentacle reads like Kathy Acker with a tighter narrative grip.
The English in Tentacle is dynamic and colorful, peppered with Spanish, Yoruba, and occasionally French ... Tentacle is a little book with big ambitions. It tells a wild story that takes on environmental disaster, contemporary art, queer politics, religious syncretism, race relations, and the legacy of empire, all the while showcasing speculative fiction’s capacity for sharp socio-political commentary. But like many time-travel narratives, its plot is convoluted and complicated, and requires frequent leaps of imagination. For all its big ideas, it sometimes struggles to stay coherent. It may have been better to lessen the speed, just for a moment, and give readers a chance to catch up.