Review: The Rosewater Insurrection (The Wormwood Trilogy #2) by Tade Thompson

Rating:★★★★+

Synopsis:

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…

Review:

Starting this review off with thanks to Orbit and the author for an advanced reading copy of The Rosewater Insurrection (The Wormwood Trilogy #2) in exchange for an open and honest review. Receiving this ARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

So, unfortunately, I did not get around to reviewing Book 1 of this trilogy as I read it during the holidays where life seemed to always get in the way of being in front of a computer. Nothing wrong with that, but I did not get to share my praise for Thompson’s SF debut. Rosewater was such an astounding and visceral read, and absolutely unlike anything I have ever read.

Book 2 takes it to another level.

With Kaaro taking a backseat this time around, we get to follow along in the boots of his lover, Aminat. She is tasked with finding and apprehending a woman who may be the key to the survival of not only the people of Rosewater, but the human race as a whole. The woman she is in charge of finding is Alyssa Sutcliffe, who has just woken up with .50 cal sized gaps in her memory, even doubting who she really is.

Meanwhile, Rosewater is in complete turmoil as its mayor, Jack Jacques, has decided to piss of the Nigerian President by declaring independence, culminating in a massive amount of external resistance. Then, of course, you have the hidden conflict between the entity known as Wormwood and an evil that has stopped it dead in its tracks.

While Thompson’s narrative style stays the same, non-linear with multiple POVs, the story is a little easier to follow this time around as there aren’t as many jumps back or forward in time. I know that was a small issue for me in Book 1, which lead to some rewinds and mental preparedness whenever I sat down to read.

Much like in Book 1, the author has a knack for creating characters (whether or not you want to, or are supposed to, root for them is up for debate), but he really shines in his world-building. While The Wormwood Trilogy is built on the somewhat “small-scale”, this book feels epic in its execution. The addition of the xenosphere just adds an extra layer of originality and broadens the sandbox Thompson has to play in.

The writing is exquisite; the prose tantalizing. You’ll be hooked from page one and by the time you are finished, you’ll be foaming at the mouth for Book 3. This is the future. It is what science fiction needs to be.

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