Winner of the 2021 World Fantasy Award
Winner of an 2021 ALA Alex Award
Winner of the 2020 New England Book Award for Fiction
Winner of the 2021 Ignyte Award
Winner of the 2021 AABMC Literary Award
A 2021 Finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Best Outstanding Work of Literary Fiction
A 2021 Hugo Award Finalist
A 2021 Nebula Award Finalist
A 2021 Locus Award Finalist
A Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist
A Most Anticipated in 2020 Pick for Book Riot | Buzzfeed | Paste | WBUR
Named a Best of 2020 Pick for NPR | Wired | Book Riot | Publishers Weekly | NYPL | The Austen Chronicle | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Den of Geek
"Riot Baby, Onyebuchi's first novel for adults, is as much the story of Ella and her brother, Kevin, as it is the story of black pain in America, of the extent and lineage of police brutality, racism and injustice in this country, written in prose as searing and precise as hot diamonds."—The New York Times
"Riot Baby bursts at the seams of story with so much fire, passion and power that in the end it turns what we call a narrative into something different altogether."—Marlon James
Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor's son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven't happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.
Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.
Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Onyebuchi (War Girls) paints a grim, dystopian portrait of contemporary America shot through with elements of the supernatural in this urgent, brutal work. Ella Jackson and her baby brother, Kev, are both preternaturally gifted. The "Riot Baby," Kev, is born in 1992 Los Angeles, just hours after the courts acquitted the cops that beat Rodney King and the city erupted in violence. As a teenager in New York, Kev is brutally assaulted by police and arrested for no crime but being black; he spends the next eight years incarcerated at Rikers. During this time, Ella visits him both in person and psychically, constantly using her powers to offer him glimpses of freedom and life outside the prison walls and lead him on a path toward a revolutionary future as, in the outside world, incidents of police brutality rise and their mother's health fails. Onyebuchi's unexpectedly hopeful ending is just as powerful as his unflinching, heartbreaking depictions of racism and cruelty. This staggering story is political speculative fiction at its finest.
My review is rather low because it's not what I thought it would be. With a name like "Riot Baby" I'm thinking it'll be endulged with riots however that's not the story. Honestly, I didn't get it. I have lots of questions. Least favorite book thus far.