Thursday 10 January 2019

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Book Title: Rosewater
Author: Tade Thompson
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: I own a copy
Goodreads, Amazon UK 
Plot: 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.
What did I think?

Rosewater came with high praise, and when I attended a comic convention in London last November, I just had to buy a copy and get it signed by the author, Tade Thompson. What a lovely, kind man. It was a pleasure to meet him.

I highly recommend Rosewater, though I do not think it will be for everyone. It's speculative science-fiction, plays with flashbacks, is confusing at times, and the narrator is a very peculiar character. Personally, I never felt lost, but I totally understand if others struggle with the different timelines and the constant flipping between years.

Rosewater is a town in Nigeria, built around an alien biodome which opens once a year and heals everybody nearby. Some people have started developing powers, and one of those individuals is Kaaro, our protagonist.

The story is told in the present tense from the point of view of Kaaro. He's an unreliable narrator and a bit of a jerk, but still I found myself rooting for him and wanted him to succeed. He's an incredibly well written character.

The prose is interesting, and I can picture Kaaro talking just like this, but it took me some getting used to it. The world building is intriguing and innovative, and I loved finding out about Kaaro's power and the alien that has surfaced or landed on our world. I've got a ton of question still, as do all the character and therefore can't wait for the sequel.

I am extremely curious to find out where Thompson takes this story in the next few instalments of the series.

Recommend to all sci-fi fans who like their stories placed on earth and don't mind complex timelines and mysterious aliens.


  1. The shifting timeline sounds like it could get a bit confusing but story itself certainly sounds interesting. I love a good, strong main character and Kaaro sounds like just that. Had to laugh that you describe him as a bit of a jerk. :)

  2. I love fragmented timelines, like in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. Maybe I'll like this one, too!

  3. I am currently reading a book with a fragmented timeline and loving it. I think that's actually something I love, and the speculative sci-fi genre is so my kind of thing! So I am so wanting to read this one after your review now DD:

  4. Ah, you had me until 'unreliable narrator'. I've grown a bit weary of them. I'd rather like to know that I can trust the person I'm listening to...

    I love that it's set in Nigeria though. I don't read enough books set outside the UK/US (and occasionally Australia and Canada). Also, what a gorgeous cover.