Cover Image: Nubia: The Awakening

Nubia: The Awakening

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Member Reviews

This book just wasn’t for me. I felt like the pacing was a little too slow and I never found myself eager to pick the book back up. It wasn’t the writing that I didn’t care for but the development of the story.
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I thought this was an excellent start to a series. It tackles big issues while remaining firmly grounded in a well-developed fantasy world. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the next volume(s)!
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3.5⭐️s
First of all, thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book to review and to LibroFM for listing it has an Educator ALC title so that I could alternate reading and listening! 

I was intrigued by this story from the beginning and even though it is the first of a series, the exposition is done really well! The characters have such different motivations and stories even though they've all grown up in the same environment which made it interesting to see their choices over the course of the book. I am very curious to see how this series develops and highly recommend this one to YA dystopian fans! The audiobook was also well done and I enjoyed the different narrators.
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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! All opinions contained within are my own.

I’ve been trying to write this review for a few days now. For some reason, I’m finding it hard to articulate how much I enjoyed this wonderful book. There was so much to enjoy and it has taken me awhile to figure out how to write it down without sounding like I’m rambling. Lets hope I actually pull it off 😉

Nubia: The Awakening follows the story of three teens leaving in a futuristic New York City. Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho are not friends, but they do have something in common. They are all Nubians, a group of people who escaped to NYC after their home of Nubia was destroyed by the worsening natural disasters of a planet plagued by climate change. They also find themselves suddenly coming into some intense and strange powers, powers that throw all of their lives and the lives of the Nubians around them into chaos.

This was a book that managed to be so many things all at once: fun, exciting, impactful, and an absolute pleasure to read! I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style employed throughout this novel. It had the feel of watching a superhero movie while also pulling in social commentary that hit hard. I thought the authors did a masterful job of approaching sensitive topics like drug abuse and systemic racism in a way that was both accessible and didn’t shy away from hard truths. And it was all wrapped in an adventure that had me captivated from page one!

I think part of the reason that this book held such an impact was that the characters were so relatable. Zuberi is a girl who likes to keep to herself, who thrives on physical training and being able to protect herself. Uzochi is a boy that is intelligent and driven, with his sights set on improving both his and his mom’s lives through his schooling and hard work. Lencho is a boy who has a rough home life and a rougher exterior who finds himself running with a gang in order to find a place where he belongs. They all come to life on the page, making it very easy to engage in their story. They come across as people you could meet on the street tomorrow, superpowers aside. I love when characters in a book feel that real!

I will say that the pacing of the story did throw me off a little bit. It felt like there was a bit of a lull towards the middle of the book, but I was so enamored with the characters and their story that I didn’t bother me too much. And the ending was enough of exciting ride to make up for it a bit! I sincerely hope this is just the beginning to a series because the end definitely leaves you hanging. Overall, this was a gripping, exciting YA fantasy that has me eager to continue the story of our three main characters.
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This story was amazing and way more than I was expecting. This story touched on several topics, and they were covered very well. This story was fast-paced but picked up around 35-40% for me.

The story revolves around three teenagers in the slums of New York in the 2090s. The first 30% or so covers world-building, which is well done. The story is powerful with the topics it covers and would be a great read for everyone.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I signed up for this book, but I’m glad I took the leap because this was fantastic. The cover art is beautiful and genuinely depicts this story. I know the first part of the book is a little slow, but trust me… it’s worth it to keep going!
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I enjoyed the different perspectives of the characters, and I think this is an action-packed and glorious adventure.
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I never missed an episode of House when it was on, and when I saw that Omar Epps (Dr. Eric Foreman) had co-written a book, there was no doubt I’d read it. And just look at that stunning cover!

This novel is set in NYC decades in the future, but I liked that a history of the city is given before the story begins. Drastic climate change has necessitated the building of sea walls around the city and the creation of a sky city. Naturally, only the privileged have “ascended” to the sky city while Nubians and others live below. Racism, class division, and political corruption runs rampant and affects each of the main characters in some way. My blood boiled at how the Nubians were treated by other citizens, students, teachers, etc.

Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho are very well-drawn, but also flawed – which made them easily relatable. Each of them have their own goals and dreams, but when their powers emerge and expectations of them are explained by the elders, the teens feel as if they’ve lost control of their own lives. Watching them make the decision whether to help their people is a little bit of a coming of age experience.

Comp titles of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther are spot on (I’m a fan of both), and I’d also toss in the TV show Heroes from several years ago. Pacing is pretty steady, tensions and stakes are high, and although the purpose of the powers still remains a mystery, I expect more will be revealed in the sequel. Which I will most definitely be reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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4.5 stars

There were so many things I loved about this book! I started reading it in the evening and initially paused at about the 55% mark, but then I kept thinking about it and ended up cracking it open and finishing it up before going to bed. The story takes place in NYC in a place called The Swamp, where Nubian refugees have all settled. Nubians come from an African Island nation that was lost to flooding and violent storms, and much of their culture and identity has been lost to the oppressive lives they find themselves in. Even as they struggle to live day-to-day, those who literally live up in the sky live in opulence and pretend to care about them. The story centers around three youths, Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho, as they each experience an awakening of special powers.  

Climate change, racism, politics, exploitation of the downtrodden, culture, classism, social justice, violence, and death are all a part of this story, but the authors do a great job of pacing this story. I never lost interest, and actually read the last three chapters twice to make sure I understood where all the players were. It ends on a cliffhanger, and I'm hoping we won't have to wait a long time for the next book. 

This book had echoes of Black Panther for me, as well as Klune's The Extraordinaries. I really liked many of the characters and felt there was a nice balance of character and story development, and as I said, the pacing felt right for me. 

That said, I think I wanted a stronger emotional connection with our protagonists. In some ways this felt like a story that would be perfect for the screen and considering the background of the writers, I could totally see it. I'm not saying that writing for the screen means you can't spend as much time with enough character development to connect strongly with them because there are plenty of movies that do that. But I do think that these are characters that will mean more to me as the series progresses. 

I really did love this first book and will be keeping an eye out for news about the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Children from the island nation of Nubia have always been considered climate refugees in New York. In a world where environmental disasters strike frequently, the higher up you can go to escape the floods, the better. The world looks down on the mythical Nubia, but Nubia has been hiding powerful secrets. Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho all must work to discover the mystery behind hidden powers manifesting in the Nubian community. Nubia: The Awakening is an action-packed and glorious adventure! It would be perfect for fans of Black Panther.

Nubia is a story that deals with fantastic powers, racism (especially relating to climate change), and belonging to a community. One of my favorite parts was the powers that the children deal with and how they band together to figure them out. I hope to see more nuance and depth in the characters as the story continues. I’m curious to see what comes next for these characters and how they will fight for their community. Nubia: The Awakening is an enjoyable and action-packed adventure! Thank you to Omar Epps, Clarence A. Haynes, Delacorte Press, and Netgalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 3.5 stars 
Nubia; The Awaking is a story about tree teens, refugees from Nubia, a fallen African utopia, who have to navigate their newfound powers.

“Nubia, my great, glorious Nubia, lost in the storm.” 

Seeing the story was perfect for fans of Black Panter and Children of Blood and Bone I had to read it! It piqued my interest from the start and I really had high hopes for this story. While some were met, not all of them. 

The story itself takes place in 2098 New York, after lots of climate changes raged across the world with devastating results. We follow teens who are descendances from an African island which was lost due to these changes. Now, they live in New York, where a lot has changes. At the start I had a bit of a hard time understanding the different world and how divided it was. To be honest, I’m still not sure if I understand right. As of now, I believe there are two levels to New York. Below, the poor and Nubians live and work, in constant danger of the sea wall breaking and flooding everything. The rich are up high, living easily. I would think they’d live up high as in skyscrapers, but those would also be blown away by the ocean if the wall would break, so I don’t really understand how that works. 

The story itself is fast-paced and slow at the same time. Due to the four POV’s we follow some parts repeat itself from different POV’s, but sometimes the story within a POV is rushed. Towards the end it also felt a bit like some parts were missing, because something had happened at the end of a chapter, and in the next suddenly it was solved without explanation. 

The characters were likable. I especially loved Uzochi and really liked how much more confident he had become. Zuberi seemed really angry at the start and I had to warm up to her, but really liked her at the end. Lencho, I feel like I couldn’t understand well and that was a bit of a shame. The same happened with Sandra, who I just couldn’t really pinpoint. 

I loved the magics that were introduced and the powers the Nubians have. I do believe a lot is to be explored, since a lot is still unknown. I also still don’t understand Lencho’s powers. Such as how they suddenly came into powers, which powers there are and why their parents lost it all. A lot to be addressed in the next book, because with that ending it can’t be a stand-alone haha. 

Overall, I liked the plot and story, but it felt like the story could’ve had more details and could’ve been fleshed out better.
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This was an interesting read and spin on magical
Abilities. At first I struggled to get into it but only because the first bit was like a history background of the story. After that I loved it. I’m curious how he will follow up with it. I want to know if the bad guy gets called out and if Lyncho chooses the right side.
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I’ve been so excited for NUBIA: THE AWAKENING since I first heard about it. I’m a huge fan of Omar Epps and was excited to see what he and Clarence Haynes had come up with in this afro-futurist YA novel. While I enjoyed it, it was definitely a case of wanting to love it more than I actually did.

This novel deals with some important societal topics: racism, classism, climate change, oligarchy, and over-policing. It was interesting to see these dealt with in a near-future society. In a lot of ways, on the surface this book reminded me of BALLAD & DAGGER by Daniel Jose Older: near-future or alternate timeline NYC, refugees from an African or Afro-Caribbean island that no longer exists, parents who refuse to talk about where they came from, and teens discovering they have magical powers connected to that disappeared home. Unfortunately, in this book the pacing was off in a way I find hard to describe, and it’s still unclear exactly what these magical powers are. I liked the MCs, though, and the way the novel alternated between the three POVs of Zuberi, Lencho, and Uzochi. I’m hoping the second book will explain and expound on what the teens can and/or should do with their newly-found powers.

RATING: 3 stars

**Disclosure: I received an eARC of this book for purposes of this blog tour. This review is voluntary on my part and reflects my honest rating and review of the book.
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After Nubia, the African utopia falls, families find refuge in New York City. Extreme climate change has further divided the people living in NYC. Nubians are outcasts living in lower Manhattan which constantly floods while the rich live up high in sky city. Things start to change when Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho come into their powers associated with their ancestral roots. The fate of their people is up to them.

This story is ok. Nothing particularly exciting or memorable. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the eARC.
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The Awakening is the first part in a fantasy series called Nubia by Omar Epps and Clarence A. Haynes. They are an actor and producer and a writer, who now work together to write this book. It is a book which I said to be the perfect fit for fans of Black Panther and Children of Blood and Bone, but will I share this oppinion?

Zuberi, Uzochi and Lancho their homeland, an island off the West African coast, called Nubia is a mystery. A massive storm once destroyed it, and now their families have flead to New York City. New York is ravaged by climate change and division between classes, and is far from a save harbor for the Nubians. They have to survive in the swamp and live a life of disrespect. But when Nubian teens are starting to show extraordinary and terrifying powers, the people from Up High are watching them. Can they use the Nubians to become even more powerfull or will the Nubian teens decide to step up for their own people?

This book knows some really great themes which are of this time. They all come to the foreground really well. There is climate change, difference in classes and discrimination. The rich only want power, and don't give about the poor. This is something the authors have worked out very well. This book really is something really unique and therefore it can't be compared to other titles.

I had some trouble with connecting to the main characters, since they are all so different from each other. The writing style which is almost scenic, made it more difficult too. However, the story really is well-written and has a nice pace. I enjoyed reading this fantasy, and am hoping there is more to come. I give The Awakening a 3,5 star rating.
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4.5✨ The cover alone is stunning, but, the story really blew me away. Around 40% I could not stop reading this book. 

I loved how the story was told from the different perspectives of the characters. It was a unique futuristic story but still had some current aspects. The writing is good, the characters were likable, and the flow of the story was pretty good paced. It was carefully detailed and I could totally picture things as they happened. 

The Nubian people are a group of outsiders living in the slums of New York in the late 2090s & they are at the bottom of the totem pole. However, the younger Nubians notice different things happening to them and it is revealed that they have special powers- the Awakening. I liked the suspense around the young characters coming into their new powers. The villain in the story played a huge role-the corruption and brainwashing caused all kind of chaos in the story. I am really curious to see if there will be more of this story because the ending alludes to there being more. I am advocating for a tv series or movie adaptation, I want more. Good read!

I received an ARC from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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First of all, I love the fact there were different people POVs. This book is a good kind of weird. It was different. It’s in the future and yet not to far in to the future.
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What an amazing debut! I can already see a series or at least a sequel. Omar Epps brought all the heat with this new dystopian novel. In post apocalyptic NY, displaced Nubian immigrants awaken to superpowers. Will they use it for good and the betterment of the whole Lower Quarter or will they use it to their advantage and seize power? In the battle of the haves and have nots, we are reminded of the phrase "with great power comes great responsibility." Absolutely loved this book. Its giving Wakanda vibes and I love the Afrofuturism featured here. And can we talk about the cover? Stunning!
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Climate impact on the future cause the water levels to rise.  The island population of Nubia is displaced to New York City.     The impact forces the displaced Nubians to manage the social classes in a big city where there is a significant disparity between those that have and those who do not.   This is where fantasy comes in.  Nubian special powers (which have been dormant since the move to NYC),  start to generate in the teenage generation. 

Along with superhero-type magic,  this book touches on some heavy topics like racism, corruption, and social issues.    

I found the beginning to read a bit slow.   There were many characters introduced and some complex background development.    Once that setup occurs,  the pace picks up and it is hard to put down by the end,  clearly set up for a sequel.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this novel. 4/5 stars (maybe 3.75?) 

I'm kind of a sucker for anything that's dystopian and inspired by non-white folklore and legend, so I was super excited for this science fiction/dystopian novel. The cover is STUNNING, and the premise sounded exciting and different than the usual stuff appearing. 

The novel has a wide range of POVs, and at times it felt like it didn't let the characters develop as much as they could have, but it's also definitely the first book in a series. I think a lot more world building could have happened, as I'm still confused on a LOT of stuff as it gets revealed to the characters. Krazen is perfectly done as the villain though, along with his daughter, as I hate BOTH of them so much by the end of the novel and how manipulative they are to get what they want. 

I both like and dislike separating the Nubians as a plot point, but it really just made me frustrated how it was used as an element to further separation and politics...but I'm pretty sure that's the point of it. 

It is a relatively quick read though, and the action is nonstop.
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This is an engaging teen sci/fi or fantasy book that tackles some important topics, such as family relationships, climate change, race, discrimination, and poverty. The ending paves the way for a sequel. The pace was a bit inconsistent, but it did improve as the story unfolded.
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