A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018!
A Vulture Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book of 2018!
In a land similar to South Africa, twin brothers are beset by powerful forces beyond their understanding or control in this thrilling blend of science fiction, horror, magic, and dark humor—evocative of the works of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor—from the author of The Prey of Gods.
One demonic possession.
Can this relationship survive?
Auben Mutze has more vices than he can deal with—six to be exact—each branded down his arm for all the world to see. They mark him as a lesser twin in society, as inferior, but there’s no way he’ll let that define him. Intelligent and outgoing, Auben’s spirited antics make him popular among the other students at his underprivileged high school. So what if he’s envious of his twin Kasim, whose single vice brand is a ticket to a better life, one that likely won’t involve Auben.
The twins’ strained relationship threatens to snap when Auben starts hearing voices that speak to his dangerous side—encouraging him to perform evil deeds that go beyond innocent mischief. Lechery, deceit, and vanity run rampant. And then there are the inexplicable blood cravings. . . .
On the southern tip of an African continent that could have been, demons get up to no good during the time of year when temperatures dip and temptations rise. Auben needs to rid himself of these maddening voices before they cause him to lose track of time. To lose his mind. And to lose his . . .
Drayden (The Prey of Gods) crafts a tangled, fantastical African society as the setting for her spellbinding sophomore novel. With immersive worldbuilding, Drayden showcases a culture where science and religion exist at odds, and the balance of virtue and vice in one's nature controls one's social identity. Humble Kasim is assured a prosperous future, as he has only a single vice. His charismatic twin brother, Auben, is forever hindered by the six vices branded down his arm. Auben envies Kasim as much as he loves him, and their twin bond threatens to snap under the strain of their swiftly diverging paths. Complicating their fate, Kasim and Auben become enthralled by violent mystical forces. Their entire society's survival soon hinges on each defeating his demons and discovering his true nature. Drayden takes speculative fiction in an exciting direction with a harrowing and impressive tale of twisted prophecy, identity, and cataclysmic change.