"Mesmerising. There are echoes of Neuromancer and Arrival in here, but this astonishing debut is beholden to no one."M. R. Carey
"Smart. Gripping. Fabulous!"Ann Leckie
"Nothing short of brilliant.... A captivating, cerebral work of science fiction that may very well signal a new definitive voice in the genre."Kirkus
"A magnificent tour de force, skillfully written and full of original and disturbing ideas."Adrian Tchaikovsky
"A sharply satirical, ingenious thriller about an alien invasion that's disturbing familiar. Tade Thompson has built a fascinating world that will suck you in and keep you guessing. This book will eat you alive, and you'll like it."Annalee Newitz
"Compellingly strange yet accessible... a character-driven, morally grey tale of hope and potential redemption."Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Deeply imagined characters and vibrant, startling imagery... An author to watch."B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
"A strange and unsettling story of psychics, conspiracy, and alien invasion unlike anything I've read before. Masterfully constructed, brimming with ideas and slowly unfolding mystery, Rosewater hurt my brain in the best of ways."Fonda Lee
"Perfect for fans of William Gibson's Neuromancer, this twisty, captivating page-turner explores the fragility of the mind and how memory constructs identity."BookPage
"Inventive aliens and realistic-feeling invasion... keen observations of how easily people ignore and accept what should be terrifying... intriguing characters (many of them women) who have lives of their own beyond the pages... fascinating."Strange Horizons
"This thrilling, ambitious novel offers a deftly woven and incisive blend of science fiction, psychology, action, and mystery. Highly recommended."Kate Elliott
"One of the most imaginative alien invasion scenarios I have come across."Aliette de Bodard, Nebula and BSFA award-winning author
"A fiercely weird, breathtaking biopunk tale of alien invasion, Rosewater is ambitious and smart and very, very cool."Tasha Suri
"Quite simply one of best books I have read for quite some time."SFCrowsnest
"As strange, vivid and intricate as the alien biosphere at its heart, Rosewater is a fabulous book and Tade Thompson is a writer of enormous heart and talent. Just brilliant."Dave Hutchinson
"Inventive and creepy... revolutionary."Ozy
"Original, entertaining, and food for thought. Tade Thompson is an exciting new voice in our field and I can't wait to read more of his work."Pat Cadigan
"Part thriller, part mystery and part phantasmagoric journey across a strange yet not-too-distant future, and reminiscent at times of both Roger Zelazny and Nnedi Okorafor, Rosewater is the hardboiled, Nigerian alien invasion story you always wanted."Lavie Tidhar
When a detective with psychic powers begins to investigate a mysterious sickness plaguing those like him, he uncovers sinister truths that may very well call into question the survival of the human race.
It's 2066, and in Nigeria, the town of Rosewater has grown up around a strange dome that heals whomever stands beneath it. Kaaro, a government security officer who was a criminal before becoming a soldier, is a "sensitive," a rare breed of human endowed with psychic powers. Just as Kaaro meets a woman who could possibly make him happy, sensitives like him begin to get sick and die. As Kaaro digs deeper and deeper into the source of the sensitives' illness, his troubled past and riveting present come together to paint the picture of a horrifying future. Thompson's debut novel brims with inventive and seamless worldbuilding, eloquent prose, a strong cast of powerful black characters, and cutting social commentary on the current geopolitical shift toward authoritarianism and post-colonial trauma. Thompson's rendering of the "xenosphere," a theoretical dimension into which psychic characters can project their consciousnesses, is nothing short of brilliant. Perhaps Thompson's most impressive feat is his use of Kaaro's psychic powers to assert unprovable facts. For instance, when Kaaro senses a suicide bomber in a nearby crowd, he thinks: "I hate suicide bombers. Their heads are always full of mushy rhetoric, faulty logic and grim fucking resolve. Just after they activate the detonator there is some regret, but still." Though the novel feels slightly overlong and the way the chapters rigidly alternate between past and present feels forced at times, it never fails to intrigue and entertain.
A captivating, cerebral work of science fiction that may very well signal a new definitive voice in the genre.
In this futuristic thriller set in the middle of the 21st century, a Nigerian psychic goes up against aliens, criminals, and bizarre phenomena while coping with an increasingly weird world. Kaaro, once a thief capable of finding anything or anyone, now works for the ultra-secret Section 45 as a telepathic interrogator and investigator. When his fellow psychics start dying off, his attempts to discover the cause lead him to the alien-created biodome in the center of the city of Rosewater. As Kaaro’s past, including his previous experiences with the biodome, unspools in this nonlinear adventure, he learns the disturbing secret of the aliens who have settled on Earth. Thompson (Making Wolf) cleverly lays out a compellingly strange yet accessible setting, with an underlying mystery to drive the fast-paced narrative. The story bounces over multiple decades, laying out Kaaro’s sordid past and assorted sins, but it never loses sight of the big picture, in which the machinations of aliens (whom the reader will find both understandable and frightening) and psychics are just the backdrop for a character-driven, morally gray tale of hope and potential redemption. (Nov.)
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.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton