1. Blackness that doesn’t have to apologize or explain itself – So often in media (yes, even still in 2017), black characters are expected to justify their existence in a narrative. We have to be black for a “reason” or its pandering. Or it’s unnecessary. Or it takes away from the story. The list goes on and on. But this novel gives you black characters, makes you accept them and moves right along. It gets no better and should be the golden standard for black representation in the long run.
  2. Cool, cinematic action – This novel plays out like a movie almost from start to finish. When you’re reading it you feel like you’re seeing a blockbuster. It’s an enviable talent for any writer who wants to captivate their audience with their words. And there’s quite a few moments all throughout the novel where you get to see some very kinetic movement and martial arts moves to make The Matrix sit back and take notice.
  3. A female villain that is both hauntingly devastating and still incredibly human- Madame Gupta is in some parts The Mandarin mixed with a bit of Ra’s Al Ghul and some of Black Mariah. She is beautiful, dangerous, and political and will quietly kick your ass at any juncture.
  4. A single, black mother who excels and embodies her role – This is probably the single greatest achievement of this novel. We see a single black mother who is wonderful to her kids, has rapport with them, works hard and is excelling at her career. It was some overwhelming and refreshing to see that get to play out. Olympia is truly a champion of what good representation can do for black women in SFF.
  5. An interesting concept for “apocalypses” and why these disasters are actually profitable- This is perhaps the most intriguing and analytical aspect of the novel. We tend to view apocalypses from the framework of society, but never through an economic lens. The world has seen many apocalypses and in some of those cases, those devastations proved to be very profitable for another group of people. This novel delves into that in an interesting way.

You can check out the novel here!

Comic books, SFF and good cooking are the essential elements of Brent Lambert. A full-fledged military brat, he is consistently struck by wanderlust and has a keen sense of things never really being permanent. A writer with an insurmountable TBR list, he strives to make Black gay characters exist in all worlds and all times.
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