Here we are again with the latest read from my TBR project! I’m can be very wary with second book entries in trilogies. They can either be brilliant or totally let the genius of the last book down but I kind of knew that this one would be reliably brilliant and very good.
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…
This was absolutely wonderful and functions as the perfect middle book in a trilogy like this that is following more a place than just one person. I really think the best aspect here is how the perspective and the story changes route from the previous book. In Rosewater, we follow Kaaro on his mission to figure out why ‘sensitives’ (telepathic/psychic powered people) like him are dying and we learn how his past is linked intrinsically to the creation of the city of Rosewater and the alien biodome that started it. Here, we are moving between multiple characters perspectives and we actually don’t hear from Kaaro until well past the halfway point of the story.
To me, this works best for the book for two reasons. One would be the general world building of how every day life works in Rosewater and how the day to day works there. I LOVE world building in SFF books, it’s one of my main focuses for reviews and can be the fine line between me finding a book fully immersive. The changing perspective, locations and just general different experiences of others living in Rosewater does allow us to see what’s happening out there. Just other small things really pleased me like the mention of a space mission that Aminat is supposed to be going on, the discussion of the Re-Animates and do they have rights. Those small touches were great.
The second reason is how the different point of views really function in the story and work to outline the absolute mess that is happening in Rosewater. They tie together so perfectly by the end as well which made me so happy since everyone was important to the story and their input was valued. We read very widely across Rosewater from the Mayor who appeared far more in the back ground in the last book, Jack Jaques, to Aminat who was definitely my favourite right down to these interludes that cut in and out from another agent of S45, the government agency Kaaro worked for in the first book.
I will say that if you’re looking for the same kind of detective story we got in the first book and the plot that is far more driven by one persons investigations, you may be a little disappointed. The plot is kind of kept at arms length a little and it can feel like it’s happening a couple of miles away. Like at one point in the story, a lot of the characters we have been following are all gathered together in a room and it’s the first time that the thing that is happening outside, feels urgent suddenly. I wasn’t all that affected by it myself but definitely worth bearing in mind.
My main conclusion that I’m taking away from this is that Tade Thompson is a master with weaving a near future stories with a reminder that the martians aren’t always going to land in London and that plants are scary and dangerous. Yup. I said it. I am even more terrified of them now going forward. With the way this wraps up, I am truly looking forward to the last book in the series.
I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. If you’re looking for a science fiction series that is highly readable and fast paced in these strange times, this is a series I would highly recommend checking out. Hopefully my read of the Rosewater Redemption won’t be far behind. Thanks for checking in everyone! Happy reading!