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Rosewater

Narrated by: Bayo Gbadamosi
Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
4 out of 5 stars (885 ratings)

Regular price: $29.65

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Interview: Tade Thompson talks about the 'Frankenstein of influences' that helped create his buzzy sci-fi debut.

It's a stealth character-driven story masquerading as a plot-driven story.

  • Rosewater
  • It's a stealth character-driven story masquerading as a plot-driven story.

Publisher's Summary

Tade Thompson's Rosewater is the start of an award-winning, cutting-edge trilogy set in Nigeria, by one of science fiction's most engaging new voices.

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.

©2017 Tade Thompson (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

"A fiercely weird, breathtaking biopunk tale of alien invasion, Rosewater is ambitious and smart and very, very cool." (Tasha Suri)

"Compellingly strange yet accessible... a character-driven, morally grey tale of hope and potential redemption." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Confusing...and not very entertaining

I kept hoping that the book was off to a slow start, but it never got better. The back and forth from present to different times in the past plus random interludes made the sequence of events super confusing. If you miss a transition, nothing makes sense, especially because the jumps involve the same characters. The storyline doesn't draw you in and I didn't feel curious even though the author hinted at things throughout.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It feels like a dream.........

I admit that I have little patience for other people's dreams. Somehow, Tade Thompson makes this book feel like a dream that I am personally experiencing. Many times I have woken with an urge to return to sleep to continue a dream. To recapture a fading fantasy through slumber. I am rarely successful. Thankfully, Rosewater accomplishes the process. Although, this is the first in a series, this novel seems like a complete story. A dream completed. Honestly, I will definitely continue this series when the books are available. I will most likely pre-order. (That's the highest praise I can offer.)

Now about Bayo Gbadamosi --WOW. He is amazing. I think his performance was nearly perfect. I commend him for tackling words that are unfamiliar and actually improving their pronunciation. For example, Roanoke.( I have heard the story of Roanoke so I knew the reference.) Think about it, Roanoke is not a name that rolls off the tongue --unless you are like Mr. Gbadamosi. He has this lilting tone that drew me into the phantasm of Rosewater even more completely.

There are a few narrators who could read the dictionary and I would be captivated. David Chandler, Sullivan Jones and now Bayo Gbadamosi.

I absolutely recommend this audio book.




24 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow! Just wow!

This book is easily one of the most interesting and original listens of the year. African culture, spirituality and superstitions, succubus sex, aliens, politics, government conspiracies, ectoplasm, antifungal cream, what more could you want?
The year is 2066 and Rosewood is a Nigerian city that has sprung up around an alien biodome. Once a year for a few minutes the dome heals people. But this "healing" is not as benign as it would seem and more sinister things are going on. First book of a trilogy and I can't wait for the next book!

38 of 44 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Surprising science fiction novel

Rosewater is a an outstanding near future fantasy story with an intriguing premise. Tade Thompson consistently paints a vivid picture of what is going on through his colorful language and interesting phrasing.

While the premise is interesting, the story does not rely too heavily upon it. A lot of what happens in the story stands independent from the main hook. Many of the characters are developed very well, although some characters I had a hard time remembering.

I did not like the protagonist, but I suspect we aren't suppose to. He's flawed which is refreshing, but makes me a bit uncomfortable too.

The first and second act were outstanding, but the third act was a bit disjointed. There is a lot of shifting between time lines that gets a little confusing, although has some pay offs.

I enjoyed this novel as an audio book, and the performer Bayo Gbadamosi did an outstanding job. Only criticism is that he speaks a bit slow, but listening at 1.25x speed fixed that.

If you enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and even mystery then you will likely enjoy this novel.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling, Original, Breakthrough SF

With breathtaking honesty, Tade Thompson joins the glittering lineage of authors Philip K. Dick, James Tiptree Jr./Alice B. Sheldon, William Gibson and other pioneers who have opened new territories in science fiction with a brilliantly original schema and startling world view.

In "Rosewater," Thompson refreshes the meaning of tropes that have dwindled into derivative clichés, including aliens, first contact, telepathy, biological/mechanical hybrids, post-colonialism, and the future nature of work, family, and society. Of particular value is his exploration of how rare talents and powers are just as dangerous as they are beneficial without recognition and guidance, training and discipline.

I agree that the protagonist is at first extremely self-absorbed and unappealing. Yet when you consider the average adolescent male, then "gift" him with bizarre and terrifying mental powers unique in history, what is the likelihood he will grow into a polite, compassionate and courageous adult? It would take decades just to gain any sense of control over his own mind. I found it encouraging that Kaaro was able to conduct moral debates with himself on the nature of fidelity, feel sorrow for past actions (especially when "virtual" and "real" are so difficult to distinguish), and finally FINALLY take that poor injured street dog to the vet--although even this was part of an alibi, not a selfless act!

Thompson takes the ordinary "now"--dysfunctional families, collapsing economies, secret government agencies, environmental hazards, political corruption, eternal greed--and with abrupt, almost magical twists, builds a future world that changes our view of this world irrevocably.

I also have to commend narrator Bayo Gbadamosi. He is a phenomenal voice actor, ranging deftly from young to old, male to female, even human to alien and mechanical, with grace and sophistication.

I want more! UPDATE: The second book in the trilogy appears in March. It's now in my Wish List.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

No real plot, unsympathetic main character

There was a lot to this book but a coherent plot did not seem to be part of it. admittedly the flashing back and forth in time didn't help with the flow of the story, but there was no real sense of danger or urgency. no sense at all that the protagonist cared about what he was doing so I didn't care much either. Some interesting bits but not enough to make it worth while.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Character driven…right off the cliff

Don’t get me wrong, interesting story and great character development. But the whole thing is derailed by constant shifts in time until it becomes almost impossible to keep hold of the story thread. Plus, the author introduces too much at the end to set up the series, none of which sounds as interesting as what has agonizingly unfolded in this book. I won’t be following along, although the narrator was superb. There should be a rating for book structure, as I'd give this one 1 star.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Afro-futurism / Afro-punk sci-fi at it's finest

Rosewater is an awesome alien, technological, afro-futurism journey across three or so timelines under one main character. it's original and extremely well voice acted. I look forward to book two: the insurrection.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Way too convoluted

I did not like this very much at all. Author skipped around too much. I also grew to hate the main character. Just wanted it over with.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Impressive

I was actually quite taken with this story. Futuristic, dystopian and a realistic series of events that switch rather nicely from past to present day 2066. The narrator has a beautiful voice and the pace is fairly smooth. I look forward to hearing the other books in the trilogy.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful