Jun 6
2017

Washington Post on The Prey of Gods

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

“Nicky Drayden’s debut novel “The Prey of Gods” (Harper Voyager) is delightfully unlike most science fiction out there. Drayden mixes folklore, urban fantasy and science fiction in her futuristic South Africa to dazzling effect. In this entertaining tale, a new drug called Godspeed hits the street. It causes users to hallucinate, to see themselves as animal creatures; sometimes it draws out peculiar powers. Teenage Muzi, grappling with his sexuality and his heritage, finds that the drug lets him manipulate people. His path, and that of his personal AI bot, crosses that of a pop star at the pinnacle of her career, a young politician who dreams of stardom and a little girl from a poor village learning to control her awesome power. Together, they must stop a goddess hungry for world-domination. The plot can get a bit (too) twisty and complex—memories! gods! AI revolutions! But it showcases characters not often seen in popular fiction, and amid the fast-paced action, touches on relevant race and class issues. Ultimately, it’s a book about coming to terms with your true self.” — Washington Post

May 31
2017

SF Site on The Prey of Gods

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

“The Prey of Gods is a busy book, looking at the role of technology, the acquisition of powers and how people come to terms with it, the nature of good and evil, the discover of the self, and a depiction of a future south Africa. Drayden successfully navigates all of these issues and does so while presenting a fully realized setting with characters the reader cares about (and in some cases has negative feelings towards). Her heroines and heroes are complex and they aren’t able to resolve their issues neatly or easily as they attempt to become better individuals and survive what the fates have decreed for them. With luck, readers will remember Drayden’s novel when nomination season rolls around.” — SF Site

May 26
2017

Barnes & Noble SFF on The Prey of Gods

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

“This debut, out in June, has something for every SFF reader, and we’re not just saying that. It welds together urban fantasy, epic fantasy, horror, and science fiction in the futuristic South African city of Port Elizabeth. A hallucinogenic drug (possibly fueled by deific powers), a robot uprising, a little girl with every right to be angry at the world, and an ancient goddess looking to win followers and regain her rightful place in the world (that would be ruling it), even if it takes the blood and bone of all the humans around her to do it­—Nicky Drayden is throwing everything at the wall, and you won’t believe how much of it sticks. The characters will enchant you, the bloodthirsty goddess and the closeted trans government official and the young queer boy and the gentle A.I. alike, and the vibrance of the setting and the velocity of the storytelling will knock your socks off. This novel is going to blow up. Pre-order it, and say you read it when.” — Barnes & Noble SFF

May 24
2017

Library Journal starred review for The Prey of Gods

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden is a Library Journal Debut of the Month!

“VERDICT: Fans of Lauren Beukes and N.K. Jemisin will want to check out this winning mashup that mixes genres and moods with gleeful abandon, heralding a fresh new talent. It also has a truly fantastic cover.

Once a demigoddess of immense powers, Sydney schemes to return to her rightful place while working in a beauty salon in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. When she hears about a new street drug that produces vivid hallucinations and strange abilities, awakening slumbering godlike powers in humanity, she plots to use it to her advantage. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Muzi and his best friend (and tentative love interest) Elkin also try the drug. As Nomvula, a young Zulu girl in a nearby township, is coming into powers of her own, Muzi, along with a pop star, a cross-dressing politician, and a newly sentient AI, must stop Sydney before her reign of terror can really begin. Drayden’s first novel is set in a near future with personal robots, making the magical elements unusual yet effective.” — Library Journal, Starred Review

May 22
2017

Barnes & Noble SFF on All Systems Red

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries 1) by Martha Wells

“Veteran fantasist Wells proves her sure hand at sci-fi as she imagines a future dominated by corporations, in which the twin imperatives of bureaucratic adherence to policies and the need to award all contracts to the lowest bidder result in every planetary mission being required to be accompanied by a company-supplied SecUnit, an artificially intelligent android built from cheap parts, and as likely to malfunction as all of the other shoddy equipment the expeditions are counting on to, oh, keep them breathing. The SecUnit narrating the story has hacked its own Governor Module, attaining sentience and free will; it would despise the humans it protects if it didn’t find them so boring, but it nevertheless refers to itself as Murderbot. When its humans are attacked by something outside of the experience provided by its data banks, however, Murderbot must turn its prickly, near-omniscient mind towards not just the survival of its humans, but itself. This slim read is both surprisingly funny and packed with intriguing future worldbuilding, all the more reason to celebrate the sequel due later in the year.” — Barnes & Noble SFF

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