"A heist caper with sex, violence, and superpowers popping off every technicolor page." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A mythic tale of disgruntled gods, revenge, and a heist across two worlds, perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Neil Gaiman, Marlon James, and Karen Lord
Shigidi is a disgruntled and demotivated nightmare god in the Orisha spirit company, reluctantly answering prayers of his few remaining believers to maintain his existence long enough to find his next drink. When he meets Nneoma, a sort-of succubus with a long and secretive past, everything changes for him.
Together, they attempt to break free of his obligations and the restrictions that have bound him to his godhood and navigate the parameters of their new relationship in the shadow of her past. But the elder gods that run the Orisha spirit company have other plans for Shigidi, and they are not all aligned—or good.
From the boisterous streets of Lagos to the swanky rooftop bars of Singapore and the secret spaces of London, Shigidi and Nneoma will encounter old acquaintances, rival gods, strange creatures, and manipulative magicians as they are drawn into a web of revenge, spirit business, and a spectacular heist across two worlds that will change Shigidi’s understanding of himself forever and determine the fate of the Orisha spirit company.
This frenetic fantasy debut from Nigerian author Talabi starts out noir, with a car chase across the "spirit-side" of London while antihero Shigidi bleeds out in the back seat of a cab. Then the shenanigans really ramp up, flashing back to how Shigidi wound up there. The ensuing romp is a heist caper with sex, violence, and superpowers popping off every Technicolor page. Shigidi, former Nigerian nightmare deity, slips the daily grind of the Orisha Spirit Company for the persuasive tutelage of freelance succubus Nneoma, who's training him to become a succubus himself. But freedom has its price, and when the big god Olorun calls in a favor, Shigidi and Nneoma have mere hours to lift an ancient Nigerian talisman from the British Museum and escape the retributive justice of the Royal British Spirit Bureau. Readers of Neil Gaiman and Harry Turtledove will have encountered similar takes on the spirit realm; Talabi's freshness is in his language, his caustically amusing protagonist (Shigidi describes a supernatural effusion as "light gushing out... like a vandalized pipeline"), and his commitment to having more fun than noir usually allows. Readers are in for a rollicking thrill ride. Agent: Van Aggelen, African Literary Agency.