The cover of the book Rosewater by Tade Thompson, with several bands stretching horizontally, starting with pink and becoming orangeMy favorite summer reading has been the Wormwood Trilogy by Tade Thompson. If you are a science fiction fan you will enjoy this, although these books are about so much more than science fiction. This near-future trilogy is set in Nigeria and begins as an alien entity sets up residence on earth outside Lagos. The first novel follows the adventures of Kaaro, a man who can use the alien communication network, the zenosphere, to manipulate his consciousness. The second and third novels weave together the stories of many characters as they try to understand and defeat the alien invaders.

I love the strong woman heroes of the second and third novels, Aminat, Femi, and Oyin Da. Within this frame, the characters struggle with various aspects of consciousness and being, colonialism and political structures, sexual identity (homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria), and basic moral values. There are references to mythology and culture, predominantly the Yoruba culture of Nigeria. Thompson is a broadly trained psychiatrist and so these novels contain a great deal of biology and neuroscience, which thrills a neuro-nerd like me.

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