Three strangers, each isolated by his or her own problems: Adaora, the marine biologist. Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa. Agu, the troubled soldier. Wandering Bar Beach in Lagos, Nigeria's legendary mega-city, they're more alone than they've ever been before.
But when something like a meteorite plunges into the ocean and a tidal wave overcomes them, these three people will find themselves bound together in ways they could never imagine. Together with Ayodele, a visitor from beyond the stars, they must race through Lagos and against time itself in order to save the city, the world... and themselves.
'There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.'
Alien invasion and mystical gods meet religious zealotry and political corruption in Okorafor's thrilling hybrid of SF, fantasy, and horror. On a January night in Lagos, Nigeria, three strangers cross paths on the beach just before a sonic boom reverberates throughout the city, heralding the arrival of an alien species. Swept away by a tidal wave that delivers them to the aliens' underwater compound, Adaora, Agu, and Anthony discover they've been chosen to facilitate the assimilation of their peace-seeking otherworldly visitors. But when the task is met with violence and hysteria, the uneasy ambassadors realize that the threat to humankind's survival stems from humankind's own failings. Okorafor (The Book of Phoenix) deftly weaves together Nigerian culture and themes of enlightenment and salvation, and the action adroitly veers from blood-curdling horror to the edge of absurdity, lifting up a fast-paced and already fascinating narrative to dizzying heights. Every member of the robust cast of characters even those who only briefly cross the page imbues the story with an irresistible combination of pathos and humor. Okorafor's magical world stuns and satisfies.