Book Review: Rosewater by Tade Thompson

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Title: Rosewater

Author: Tade Thompson

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

ISBN: 9780316449052

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless—people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers.
Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again—but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future. 


Rosewater is an incredibly complex and fascinating sci-fi story taking spanning one mans life as he survives a future Nigeria. The world has been changed by the arrival and presence of an alien life form known only as Wormwood. It arrived in England in 2012, but facing the threat of the military, it migrated, ending up in Nigeria. Those who came to investigate the alien force that took the shape of a biodome formed a community around the dome. This community grew into a city which is now where Kaaro, the protagonist lives.

Kaaro is an imperfect character and generally unreliable narrator. He is a thief and a criminal who has turned for the better to work for a government agency. Kaaro is known as a sensitive, meaning that similarly to a psychic, he is able to read peoples thoughts and emotions. He is able to alter their perception of reality. No one knows what made Kaaro this way, but what they do know is that others like him are dying off.

Thompson’s writing style is unusual, but it’s gripping. It took me a while to get use to his voice and to full immerse myself in this story, but Thompson only feeds the reader tidbits at a time, enough to keep you hooked, but not enough to give anything away. He’s crafty and his story is all the more strong for it. The world that he’s built in a futuristic Nigeria is complex and mysterious, even to the characters. It’s hard to know if anyone is who they say they are. It’s impossible to predict anything about the alien life form. This story absolutely sucked me in. Better yet, it’s the first in a trilogy.

This speculative book was a surprisingly good read. The cover didn’t speak to me at all, but the story with in carries magnitude and intensity. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good sci-fi read.

Published by wornpagesandink

Hi! I'm Jaaron. I'm a book-obsessed blogger, writer, reader, coffee-drinker, and dog-lover. I have a B.A.H. in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Book and Magazine publishing. I've been fortunate to have worked in both trade and educational publishing. If you have any recommendations for excellent reads, let me know!

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