By Tade Thompson

The aliens in Roseweater, the first volume in Tade Thompson’s Wormwood Trilogy, are some of the most insinuating imaginable. They’ve come to Earth to take over, but they have a subtle, long game to play that includes curing some of humanity’s ills and offering enticing new powers to a select few while slowly replacing their genetic make-up.

Kaaro is one such infected Earthling, gifted with psychic abilities that make him a star acquisition for Nigeria’s secret police despite his being a smart-ass delinquent. As the narrative jumps around in time and space, from our reality to the alien “xenosphere,” we learn more of what the visitors are up to and what they might be doing to us. What it all amounts to is a highly original take on the alien-invasion motif, where the aliens act like genetic material made conscious, colonizing the mental space of their hosts in order to control their bodies. Imagination has always been our undoing.

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