Book Review: After the Flare by Deji Bryce Olukotun

Cover of the book After the Flare by Deji Bryce Olukotun
After the Flare
by Deji Bryce Olukotun
Unnamed, 2017

This review was first published by Booklist on August 22, 2017.

A solar flare knocks out electrical grids and technology worldwide. Countries along the equator survive best, so Nigeria ends up with the only functional space program on Earth. With the help of a former NASA engineer, the Nigerian astronauts undertake a daring rescue operation to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, terrorists threaten the launch, and excavations unearth an ancient secret. Olukotun weaves together a broad spectrum of subjects: engineering and archaeology, culture and politics, biohacking and cybernetic animal technology, ancient tribal wisdom and magical stones. With such an original premise, the story is well-paced, with compelling characters and a subtle sense of humor. It’s particularly fascinating to witness the culture shock of an African-American man now living in his ancestral homeland. If there’s a weak spot, it’s that the proffered scientific explanation for the more fantastical elements is a bit strained. This is a solidly enjoyable dystopian near-future novel set in Nigeria, with an international cast of characters, written by a Nigerian-American author.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.