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Rosewater

The Wormwood Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Bayo Gbadamosi
Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)
Non-member price: $30.38
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the inaugural Nommo Award for Best Novel.

Africa's first award for speculative fiction.

John W. Campbell Award finalist for Best Science Fiction Novel.

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.

©2017 Tade Thompson (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"A magnificent tour de force." (Adrian Tchaikovsky) 

"Smart. Gripping. Fabulous!" (Ann Leckie) 

"Mesmerising" (M. R. Carey) 

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  • Marc
  • 29-01-2019

Mediocre writing. The plot is nothing stellar.

The plot may get better in the other books, but I will not be investing on them.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tony Swinton
  • 29-09-2018

I absolutely loved this book!

Without wanting to give away spoilers, Tade Thompson has created a unique world and transports you to a believable world where the storyline was gripping holding the listeners interest throughout with a good narrator who is able to cope with place names and accents
A joy to listen to If you are looking for something new download this book
I hope to see more books by Tade Thompson on audio soon

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Charlie Paull
  • 11-02-2019

Loved it!

A book about a sensitive. Kaaro is able to read minds and also to form a link with others like himself. Such people did not exist before the alien invasion, and now they are all dying. Kaaro needs to find out why.

The story is set in Nigeria, not so very far from Lagos, where the aliens have established a bio-dome and the humans have grown a town around it, a town called Rosewater. It oscillates between “Then” – a time in the past not so very long after the first confirmed alien arrival on Earth (around 2044 - 54) and “Now” (around 2066-67). It builds a picture of how things got to where they are and at the same time paints a picture of how things are.

This is a different, African, take on alien invasion. The Africans have been invaded before – by white men. They have a different attitude and a different reaction to that evinced by the British and the Americans.

I totally loved this unusual take on alien invasion and on psy powers. It is a really refreshing book with an unusual storyline, unusual preconceptions, unusual characters and an unusual way of telling it. I’m really looking forward to books 2 and 3 in the series being published later this year so I can dive right back in. Having said that, it does not strictly need any more. It is completely able to be read as a stand-alone book.

I found the time changes between chapters and the way this split up the two converging story lines a bit irritating, but not a major problem. I ‘read’ this on Audible. I loved the narration by Bayo Gbadamosi. His warm and sometimes amused-sounding, sometimes bemused-sounding voice was completely perfect for the story being told.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenny
  • 08-01-2019

Absolute BRILLIANCE

This is a weird and wonderful novel, I was absolutely enchanted from beginning to end. The ideas are incredible, magical and very original. Set in Nigeria, for a change, this is sci fi of the highest order: great premise (alien dome around which a city has grown), incredible characters - all of them, and a plot that twists and turns and leaves you impatient for Book 2. I can't wait!

Highly and thoroughly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alan Hooper
  • 15-11-2018

Great SF

A very imaginative storyline with an engaging carust of characters. African setting/ values added to the contrast with western SF.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nigel
  • 13-11-2018

He knows what you're thinking...

This is an astonishing feat of world-building, plunging you straight into an alien-infected earth half a century after ... something ... happens. It also has a superb central character, over-powered but morally impoverished; and a beautiful evocation of a Nigerian city which only comes to exist because of the miracle-working dome at its heart. Sci-fi meets detective noir, it has genuinely new ideas, yet a hint of so many other genres that it's scope seems enormous. I listened to the first half of this on a six-hour motorway commute, and I was sorry when I had to stop. An extraordinary first novel,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • RP
  • 26-02-2019

Too disjointed to enjoy

I really wanted to like this book as the reviews sounded so positive and it sounded like everything I loved (Sci fi thriller) but after 7 hours of trying I had to just give up. The initial part is interesting and the world the author has built is intriguing but the structure of the book makes it too difficult to enjoy.


The timeline jumps around between 2054 (Then) and 2066 (Now) whilst also making references to things that happened in 2044. Just as things pick up in one era, it switches to a different era. Not only does this mean all momentum is lost but it is hard to keep track of who is who and relevant. Speaking of which there are just so many characters involved and some seem like they are very important but then are just forgotten for entire chapters. 


Perhaps this would be better as a physically read book but I just could not get into it. I always give audiobooks a decent shot but beyond 50% I think it's a lost cause. 


I'm still confused as to who certain people that are being referenced too are and what the main thread of the story even is. The narration of the book is good and he does a good job with the characters voices but it was not enough. 


Maybe if you sat down and really listened and concentrated with no distractions it would all be clearer but I listen to audiobooks while commuting and walking around and it just didn't work for me. 

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  • paul sparks
  • 12-01-2019

Refreshingly intriguing and interesting

I was pleasantly surprised by this book, the story was both interesting and enthralling, I am looking forward to the next instalment in this trilogy