Book Review: Rosewater by Tade Thompson

“What you think of as your self is actually many things. At the core is your true self, of which you may not even be fully aware. Wrapped around this are several false selves that are used at different times in different situations, social selves that serve the function of translating your true self to the world. We swap between these effortlessly as we grow up, but they are elaborate fictions. Or they are real but alternative selves. It depends on where you stand epistemologically, but that’s irrelevant.”

Tade Thompson, Rosewater

Title: Rosewater
Series: The Wormwood Trilogy (#1)
Author: Tade Thompson
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 400 (Kindle)
Published: February 23rd, 2017

My Rating: ★
Read: 6/22/2022 – 6/25/2022


This was an experimental read for me as part of a reading challenge. The summary sounded interesting so I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t my forte. I’m used to non-linear timelines in historical fiction but I guess I have difficulty following along with sci-fi. I started off listening to this as an audiobook then switched to the ebook about a quarter of the way in but it didn’t help much. Another reason I struggled through it was the excessive swearing. It was distracting. I’m glad I tried it as the plot was interesting at its core, but between some of the subject matters and politics, it’s not something I personally enjoyed. 

Likes & Dislikes

What I liked:

  • The setting. I’ve been learning more about Nigerian culture recently and I was excited to read a book set in the country.
  • The concept. I like dystopian settings, but this one was ultimately too graphic.

What I didn’t like:

  • The strong language. I don’t mind it so much if it’s in character, but it was constant and was in non-dialogue prose.
  • Explicit and violent material. I avoid this when possible when not in a historical (non-fiction) context.
  • Politics. I’ve mentioned this countless times in reviews and I stand by it. I wish there was better documentation of this kind of content. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that this has become triggering content on all sides. Reading is an escape for so many people including myself.
  • Too much paranormal content. I guess I didn’t pay attention to summaries enough. I’m okay with aliens but when it comes to other things it’s a pass for me.


Ultimately, my rating comes down to personal preference. I can’t even comment if I thought this was a good book in this genre since I’ve only read a small sampling. I think I prefer sci-fi books centered around space travel or inhabitance.

Where to buy the book:

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