From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen comes an Afrofuturist adventure about a mythical Ethiopian empire. Sci-fi and fantasy combine in this epic journey to the stars.
Yared Heywat lives an isolated life in Addis Prime -- a hardscrabble city with rundown tech, lots of rules, and not much to do. His worrywart Uncle Moti and bionic lioness Besa are his only family... and his only friends.
Often in trouble for his thrill-seeking antics and wisecracking sense of humor, those same qualities make Yared a star player of the underground augmented reality game, The Hunt for Kaleb's Obelisk. But when a change in the game rules prompts Yared to log in with his real name, it triggers an attack that rocks the city. In the chaos, Uncle Moti disappears.
Suddenly, all the stories Yared's uncle told him as a young boy are coming to life, of kingdoms in the sky and city-razing monsters. And somehow Yared is at the center of them.
Together with Besa and the Ibis -- a game rival turned reluctant ally -- Yared must search for his uncle... and answers to his place in a forgotten, galaxy-spanning war.
Inspired by the history and lore of Ethiopia, this cinematic space adventure introduces 12-year-old Yared Heywat as he fights to protect those he loves after learning stunning secrets about his world and himself. In the bustling city of Addis Prime, Yared, his uncle Moti, and bionic lioness Besa live under the radar, often moving suddenly, though Moti won't explain why. It's a lonely life, but rebellious Yared finds community and glory in an illegal augmented-reality game; he's the number-two player, beaten only by a girl known as the Ibis. When Yared is forced to compete under his real name, Addis Prime is immediately swarmed by high-tech monsters and brutal soldiers all of whom are looking for Yared. As Uncle Moti's fables about the lost space empire of Axum and the evil Werari empire begin to come to life, Yared and rival-turned-ally Ibis fight to escape the city and uncover the truth about Yared's family roots. In this fast-paced, Afrofuturist homage to Ethiopia, Mbalia (Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky) and Ethiopian prince Makonnen craft an enthralling tale of resilience, family, and bravery that will entertain young sci-fi lovers. Ages 8 12. Agents: (for Mbalia) Patrice Caldwell, New Leaf Literary; (for Makonnen) Jesseca Salky, Lyons & Salky Law. \n