Review – Rosewater

Posted 24 February, 2019 by Nikki in / 6 Comments

Cover of Rosewater by Tade ThompsonRosewater, Tade Thompson

I struggled with this book so much. I’d read such glowing reviews from a whole range of people, but I just couldn’t get into it. Probably part of that is my own fault for reading it on the treadmill (though that normally isn’t a problem) and in little bits, but a lot of it was the narrator’s obsession with sex. I don’t know how many orgasms he had during the book, some of them spontaneous, let alone the number of erections he talks about (seriously), but everything for him seemed to revolve around sex. That’s what women mostly seemed to be for, for the narrator: the first question through his mind always seemed to be a variant on “can I fuck her?”

I especially did not enjoy him in gryphon form fucking a butterfly-winged stranger on what amounts to the astral plane. Just… no thank you.

There is some fascinating stuff here with the setting (Nigeria), the isolation of the US, the xenoforms, Wormwood… but for me it was buried under the general unpleasantness of Kaaro. He’s not particularly ashamed of using his talents to become a thief, and he’s definitely not ashamed of his objectification of women and his complete shallowness. There was an awesome potential whole different book here about Oyin Da, or Aminat, or Femi, but instead they’re sidelined and putting up with Kaaro’s shit.

I don’t know. I don’t get it, guys. I appreciate some aspects of it — SF set somewhere other than the US (or to a lesser extent, the UK/Europe)! The concept of a network of fungal infection allowing mindreading in sensitive people! Awesome! But.

I don’t think I’ll read the rest of the series.

Rating: 2/5

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6 Responses to “Review – Rosewater”

  1. One reason I never reviewed it was that I didn’t really know where to start or stop. Kaaro was awful, and I found it incredibly hard keeping up with all the timeshifts (I seem to have become completely blind to timestamps in chapter settings). In the end, I didn’t enjoy Rosewater at all, although I appreciated it. I understand the sequel is from Aminat’s perspective though, so I might continue with it. Although I feel I should reread Rosewater first for context, which is a bit daunting.
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    • Urk. Yeah. Maybe not. I’m not sure I can read Aminat’s book if she’s still hanging round with Kaaro, also. XD Also, yes, the time thing!

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