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Rosewater (The Wormwood Trilogy, 1) Paperback – September 18, 2018

4.4 out of 5 stars 585 ratings
Book 1 of 3: The Wormwood Trilogy

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

"Thompson's genius in displacing his tale of successive xenobiological attacks from the West onto the developing world is matched by his breathtakingly smart prose.... Deeply engrossing."―The Seattle Review of Books

"One of the most thoughtful and inventive alien contact tales of recent decades."Locus

"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)

"Intriguing Afrofuturistic tale [that] features an incredible mashup of alien contact and human-centered power, delivering a stark and gritty story that will keep readers engaged."―Library Journal

"Deeply imagined characters and vibrant, startling imagery... An author to watch."―B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

About the Author

Tade Thompson is the author of Rosewater, a John W. Campbell Award finalist and winner of the 2019 Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 2017 Nommo Award for African speculative fiction. Born in London to Yoruba parents, he lives and works on the south coast of England as an emergency room psychiatrist.

Product details

  • Publisher : Orbit; Reissue edition (September 18, 2018)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0316449059
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0316449052
  • Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.25 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 585 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
585 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

CDG
2.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative dystopia but the violence and a misogynyistic protagonist made this hard to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2019
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68 people found this helpful
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HiuGregg
5.0 out of 5 stars I’ve never read anything quite like Rosewater.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 20, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars I’ve never read anything quite like Rosewater.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 20, 2018
This is a unique book in many different ways. It’s an almost-fantastical science fiction set in a future Nigeria that features telepaths, reanimated corpses, aliens, and secret government agencies. The story has a non-linear structure, meaning that there is a central storyline set in the present (the year 2066) with snippets from the past sprinkled throughout to provide context.

Our main character is Kaaro, a sensitive that works for a government agency. Sensitives are able to enter the “xenosphere”, which is a mysterious alternate space where sensitives can meet each other, manipulate their appearance, and interact with our own reality in the form of reading other peoples’ thoughts (among other things).

Kaaro is an interesting, flawed character. He isn’t exactly the nicest person in the world, and he has used his gifts in the past for personal gain—despite knowing that it was to the detriment of others. He is reserved, perhaps a little bit judgmental, and has a remarkable ability to take almost anything in his stride. I didn’t exactly like him, but I was intrigued by him. Tade Thompson does an excellent job of making Kaaro’s past—and the world itself—seem fascinating.

Rosewater is a masterclass in worldbuilding. It can be tremendously difficult for authors to communicate the specifics of a high-concept world in an interesting way, and so quite a few authors will resort to long, often-tedious paragraphs of exposition. Thompson neatly sidesteps this issue by raising questions for the readers to ask… and then denying them the answers unless they read on. The desired information is then drip-fed through various flashback chapters which explore Kaaro’s enigmatic past, and complement the story unfolding in the present.

This is a novel which drives you forward with questions. Why are the sensitives dying off? What is the biodome? What is inside the biodome? What did Kaaro see inside the biodome, and why does it matter now?

This is a very well constructed story, with plot, character, and setting interlinked in the most delightful way. It’s not hard to see why this novel won the first ever Nommo Best Novel award.

Rosewater is a brilliant read. It offers an honest and slightly cynical view of how our world would be should things take a turn to the fantastical. I’ve never read a sci-fi book like this, and I doubt I will again.

Well… at least not until the sequel.
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18 people found this helpful
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P. G. Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars Colonialism in the quantum multiverse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 5, 2018
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5 people found this helpful
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J. Heritage
5.0 out of 5 stars Really different, really enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2019
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Mrs H
2.0 out of 5 stars interesting concepts but gets very confusing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 10, 2019
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