Feb 13
2024

Reactor on Exordia

Exordia by Seth Dickinson

“Where Dickinson succeeds—where he turns Exordia into a truly exhilarating, dizzying work—is that he can take these human stories, human choices on the personal and on the international scale, and set them against a deeply alien intelligence.

Exordia is a book that grabs your attention and doesn’t let it go: Dickinson creates a world that feels twice as vivid as normal and does it without ever slowing down the frenetic pace of the plot. It can be a lot to handle—Exordia certainly isn’t light bedside reading—but it’s an incredible work and an enthralling way to kick off your 2024 reading.” — Reactor (formerly Tor.com)

Feb 6
2024

BookPage on Exordia

Exordia by Seth Dickinson

“Dickinson has crafted a number of very human stories in a book ostensibly about aliens. Trauma, morality in the face of disaster, forgiveness, guilt, lost love and the bond between parents and children all find their way to the page. Yes, these people are witnessing and trying to survive the craziest moment in the history of Earth, but their connections to one another ring true.

While some may wish it spent as much time with its characters as it does exploring its many fascinating ideas, Exordia is undoubtedly impressive. But there’s no question that it will be many sci-fi fans’ favorite book of the year, especially those willing to surrender to it, and be consumed.” — BookPage

Jan 23
2024

Library Journal on Exordia

Exordia by Seth Dickinson

“Recently dumped by her boyfriend and fired, Anna, a Kurdish refugee, already has enough to deal with before her close encounter with the wounded alien on her kitchen floor. Being that he’s an officer in the Joint Special Operations Command, Erik’s life mission is to bring order to chaos, and he’s sorely tested as he investigates what appears to be an alien starship. Clayton schemes in the background, willing to do anything to protect humanity. Hostile first contact brings these characters together, and then it’s a race against the clock to prevent nuclear Armageddon. Violent, vivid, vicious—this is an innovative military, sci-fi thriller that is equal parts action and introspection. It’s conceptually profound and touches upon many ethical and metaphysical subjects, including a peek into Zoroastrianism and a unique interpretation of souls. This doesn’t necessarily make for easy reading, but there’s no denying the intelligence in the writing.

VERDICT This stand-alone story from Dickinson (The Tyrant Baru Cormorant) thrives on the unexpected, and while the characters aren’t necessarily likable, the way they wrestle with doing the right thing versus doing the hard thing is authentic and thought-provoking.” — Library Journal

Jan 16
2024

Scientific American on Exordia

Exordia by Seth Dickinson

“In Seth Dickinson’s 2015 debut novel, The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a fiercely willful woman from a colonized island plots her revenge against a brutal empire. This fascination with weighing the value of specific lives against a greater good also powers his new book, a mind-shredding first-contact epic. A spaceship or weapon or something has appeared in Kurdistan, where its mysteries get puzzled over by a sprawling cast. There are nukes, alien brain locks, intergalactic warfare and a scope that keeps expanding long after the stakes seem clear. This thrilling novel grips hardest when Dickinson’s characters must reason through the science of seemingly impossible phenomena.” — Scientific American

Nov 24
2023

Publishers Weekly on Exordia

Exordia by Seth Dickinson

“Survival is the measure of success for people overwhelmed by alien forces in this adroit alternate history of first contact from fantasist Dickinson (the Baru Cormorant trilogy). Anna Sinjari, a Kurd living in 2013 New York City, finds an eight-headed extraterrestrial casually snacking on turtles in Central Park. Bound soul to soul by a mysterious alien force, Anna and Ssrin, who turns out to be a rebel from the Exordia galactic empire, attempt to recover a crashed spaceship and avoid the enforcers coming to nab Ssrin. The trail leads them back to Kurdistan, where Anna must confront her mother, Khaje, and fellow villagers, who are all still wary of Anna after she made a devil’s bargain to help them survive an Iraqi-led genocide. The rest of the world notices their struggle, bringing in a swarm of special forces units and nuclear-armed aircraft to an otherwise peaceful countryside. Layering in a bromance, an odd-couple pair of female physicists, an Iranian fighter pilot with a Top Gun obsession, and mother-daughter conflict, Dickinson skillfully puts the cosmic scale of the Exordian rebellion into manageably personal terms. With cool alien technology, admirably hopeful heroes, and SFF pop culture references littered throughout, this will have readers hooked.” — Publishers Weekly

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