cover image Lagoon


Nnedi Okorafor. S&S/Saga, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4087-5

Alien invasion and mystical gods meet religious zealotry and political corruption in Okorafor's thrilling hybrid of SF, fantasy, and horror. On a January night in Lagos, Nigeria, three strangers cross paths on the beach just before a sonic boom reverberates throughout the city, heralding the arrival of an alien species. Swept away by a tidal wave that delivers them to the aliens' underwater compound, Adaora, Agu, and Anthony discover they've been chosen to facilitate the assimilation of their peace-seeking otherworldly visitors. But when the task is met with violence and hysteria, the uneasy ambassadors realize that the threat to humankind's survival stems from humankind's own failings. Okorafor (The Book of Phoenix) deftly weaves together Nigerian culture and themes of enlightenment and salvation, and the action adroitly veers from blood-curdling horror to the edge of absurdity, lifting up a fast-paced and already fascinating narrative to dizzying heights. Every member of the robust cast of characters%E2%80%94even those who only briefly cross the page%E2%80%94imbues the story with an irresistible combination of pathos and humor. Okorafor's magical world stuns and satisfies. (July)