This is one of the books I picked for a university project on African folklore. If interested, the audio-visual portion of the project was done as a website that can be viewed here.
I’m not sure I would have picked this book up on my own to read for fun had I come across it in the bookstore while browsing. The cover isn’t that interesting and the title is kind of mundane. I was excited though when I seen Orbit Books put it out. I have loved everything I have gotten from Orbit so far. Because it was from Orbit I was sad it didn’t have an interactive cover.
I’m a tough audience and I annoy me.
I went through this one partly via audio book on my uni commute and partly in written format. Because it was being used for a project, I had to back through and reread things anyway in order to flag the folklore, annotate, and make notes. The narrator of the audiobook is awesome. I almost want to get copies of the other two books in the series as audiobooks just because of the narrator.
The story is told from the first point of view of Kaaro, a special kind of sensitive called a finder. He can tap into people’s minds and memories and find things they have lost. After being kicked out of his parents house, he uses his talent for survival (theft) and is eventually recruited by a government agency.
I have read reviews of this book and one of the biggest complaints is Kaaro is a misogynist. I had to really think about this because I am not sure if he is or isn’t. Let’s just say I have met worse. The important thing is he is flawed and morally gray. It makes him a totally believable character and gives him a deal of depth. Personally, I am a big fan of Kaaro because of this. He is one of the most well written characters I have come across. I commend Tade Thompson on his character creation here.
Kaaro lives in the city of Rosewater. It was created around the biodome, an alien ship that has landed in Africa. Once a year the alien, named Wormwood, opens the biodome and heals the sick and injured. Sometimes it goes well, other times, not so much. Human anatomy is tricky. It is during the celebration of the annual opening of the biodome that Kaaro meets his girlfriend.
It’s hard to talk about Rosewater without giving anything away. It has a lot of unexpected twists and turns and is just an amazing piece of work. There is a reason it won the Arthur C, Clark award.
When sensitives start dying it is up to Kaaro to find out why. And he still has to find the mysterious Bicycle Girl.
Tade Thompson is an amazing storyteller and should get more attention than he does. On my list of books to read this summer are the other two books in the Wormwood trilogy. I’m looking forward to them.