In this mind-bending conclusion to the Rosewater trilogy, following the events of The Rosewater Insurrection, multiple factions wage a complicated war for the future of the Earth. In the alien-influenced city of Rosewater, which recently declared independence from Nigeria, the dead rise, now inhabited by the spirits of the extraterrestrial Homians, whose goal is to replace humankind. As a rogue group of Homians seek to accelerate that process through mass murder, humans such as Rosewater mayor Jack Jacques, time-traveling Oyin Da, psychic Kaaro, and intelligence operative Aminat desperately seek a way to prevent the colonization of Earth. While the courts attempt to define personhood and identity on a legal level, other people look for a more martial, permanent solution. Thompson’s tale is dense and mercurial, with the story line leaping among myriad perspectives and tones even as it jumps from the real world to a liminal landscape in which time, space, and memory are mutable. This ambitious wrap-up requires significant sacrifice and upheaval, but it succeeds admirably. Agent: Alexander Cochran, C+W. (Oct.)
" Mesmerising. There are echoes of Neuromancer and Arrival in here, but this astonishing debut is beholden to no one." M. R. Carey on Rosewater
"Smart. Gripping. Fabulous!" Ann Leckie on Rosewater
" Nothing short of brilliant.... A captivating, cerebral work of science fiction that may very well signal a new definitive voice in the genre." Kirkus on Rosewater
" A magnificent tour de force, skillfully written and full of original and disturbing ideas." Adrian Tchaikovsky on Rosewater
"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 on Rosewater
" 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 on Rosewater
" Compellingly strange yet accessible... a character-driven, morally grey tale of hope and potential redemption." Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Rosewater
" Deeply imagined characters and vibrant, startling imagery... An author to watch." B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog on Rosewater
"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 on Rosewater
"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 on Rosewater
"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 on Rosewater
"This thrilling, ambitious novel offers a deftly woven and incisive blend of science fiction, psychology, action, and mystery. Highly recommended." Kate Elliott on Rosewater
" One of the most imaginative alien invasion scenarios I have come across." Aliette de Bodard, Nebula and BSFA award-winning author, on Rosewater
"A fiercely weird, breathtaking biopunk tale of alien invasion, Rosewater is ambitious and smart and very, very cool." Tasha Suri on Rosewater
"Quite simply one of best books I have read for quite some time." SFCrowsnest on Rosewater
"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 on Rosewater
"Inventive and creepy... revolutionary." Ozy on Rosewater
" 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 on Rosewater
" 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 on Rosewater
The future of humankind hangs in the balance. Rosewater has declared itself independent of Nigeria, and the alien Homians continue to migrate into the recently dead, with aims to take over the planet. Some Homians have decided the best way to do this is just to kill everyone. Meanwhile, the court system is grappling with how to define the risen dead and their spiritual inhabitants. This leaves others—such as Rosewater mayor Jack Jacques, the psychic Kaaro, acerbic operative Aminat, sensitive handler Femi, and the time-traveling Oyin Da—all scrambling to save their planet and people, before their country steps in and takes back what it once owned. Complex worldbuilding shifts between an alternate Africa and a dreamlike liminal landscape anchored by solid characters, as the point of view, time, and tone swirl through to a dramatic conclusion. VERDICT Thompson's smart series end (after The Rosewater Insurrection) is at once intricate and accessible. Readers will loathe saying goodbye to the vibrant people they meet.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton
In an alternate near future, the threat of an alien invasion looms ever closer in the city-state of Rosewater, the surrounding nation of Nigeria, and, ultimately, all of Earth.
As per the agreement set in the previous Wormwood novel (The Rosewater Insurrection, 2019), the alien Homians have begun mentally occupying reanimates, apparently mindless fresh human corpses healed and revived by Homian technology. Unbeknownst to most, this is the beginning of a gradual takeover of Earth by the Homians. But some Homians are trying to speed up the process through a series of mass murders. Worse still, Hannah Jacques, a lawyer and the wife of Rosewater's mayor (who struck the deal with the Homians), publicly reveals that reanimates are capable of recovering their memories and cognitive facilities. Tensions in Rosewater rise still higher as criminal twins and rivals Taiwo and Kehinde engage in violent turf wars and the mayor legalizes gay marriage in what is still a very homophobic population. Meanwhile, Femi Alaagomeji, once the head of the Nigerian intelligence agency S45, works to counter the Homian threat, enlisting her former operative Kaaro, the cowardly but powerful psychic who is sensitive to her cause even while his girlfriend, Aminat, another ex-S45 agent, feels frustrated in her current position as Rosewater's head of security. And Oyin Da, the enigmatic time-traveling woman also known as Bicycle Girl, learns some troubling truths about herself as she searches for a way to undermine the aliens and ensure humanity's survival. Popular American tales of alien invasion typically depict the contentious nations of the world recognizing the threat and uniting despite their differences to defeat the unearthly foe; Thompson is far too canny about how even an alternate version of our planet really works politically to throw such a corny show our way. Of course, it's still a trope (but a more believable one) that only a few people are clearsighted and ruthless enough to see and act upon the truth while everyone else fails to notice, too intent on their own needs. The ultimate strategy our (anti)heroes choose to employ against the Homians also has its roots in a sci-fi plot device that's more than a century old, but it's still carried off with drama and panache.
A fitting end to this trilogy, which, in even its trippiest moments, maintains a plausibility that others in this subgenre often lack.