The Wormwood Trilogy

by Tade Thompson


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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 rumoured 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 realisation about a horrifying future.

The Rosewater Insurrection

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All is quiet in the city of Rosewater as it expands on the back of the gargantuan alien Wormwood. Those who know the truth of the invasion keep the secret.

The government agent Aminat, the lover of the retired sensitive Kaaro, is at the forefront of the cold, silent conflict. She must capture a woman who is the key to the survival of the human race. But Aminat is stymied by the machinations of the Mayor of Rosewater and the emergence of an old enemy of Wormwood…

The Rosewater Redemption

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The Rosewater Redemption concludes the award-winning, cutting edge Wormwood trilogy, set in Nigeria, by one of science fiction’s most engaging new voices.

Life in the newly independent city-state of Rosewater isn’t everything its citizens were expecting. The Mayor finds that debts incurred during the insurrection are coming back to haunt him. Nigeria isn’t willing to let Rosewater go without a fight. And the city’s alien inhabitants are threatening mass murder for their own sinister ends… Operating across spacetime, the xenosphere, and international borders, it is up to a small group of hackers and criminals to prevent the extra-terrestrial advance. The fugitive known as Bicycle Girl, Kaaro, and his former handler Femi may be humanity’s last line of defense.

Tade Thompson’s innovative, genre-bending, Afrofuturist series, the Wormwood Trilogy, is perfect for fans of Jeff Vandermeer, N. K. Jemisin, William Gibson, and Ann Leckie.

My Take

I almost stopped — or at least paused — after the first book, which I struggled a bit with, for two reasons. First, the different timelines. I usually don’t have a problem with these. I think here the problem was that the two alternate timelines were only two years apart, so it was hard to keep them straight. Second, Kaaro was not my favorite character and the story is from his point of view. But I found the story interesting and it sounded like Kaaro played a smaller role in the second book so I kept going. I found the second and third books more enjoyable than the first. We get to meet the aliens for one thing. Engaging storyline, understandable (if not likable) characters, and a new and exotic setting. This is at least the second series I’ve read set in Nigeria (the other being The Nsibidi Scripts) and I will say I have no desire to travel there.