Lost Ark Dreaming

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Pub Date May 21 2024 | Archive Date May 21 2024

Description

The brutally engineered class divisions of Snowpiercer meets Rivers Solomon’s The Deep in this high-octane post-climate disaster novella written by Nommo Award-winning author Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Off the coast of West Africa, decades after the dangerous rise of the Atlantic Ocean, the region’s survivors live inside five partially submerged, kilometers-high towers originally created as a playground for the wealthy. Now the towers’ most affluent rule from their lofty perch at the top while the rest are crammed into the dark, fetid floors below sea level.

There are also those who were left for dead in the Atlantic, only to be reawakened by an ancient power, and who seek vengeance on those who offered them up to the waves.

Three lives within the towers are pulled to the fore of this conflict: Yekini, an earnest, mid-level rookie analyst; Tuoyo, an undersea mechanic mourning a tremendous loss; and Ngozi, an egotistical bureaucrat from the highest levels of governance. They will need to work together if there is to be any hope of a future that is worth living—for everyone.

The brutally engineered class divisions of Snowpiercer meets Rivers Solomon’s The Deep in this high-octane post-climate disaster novella written by Nommo Award-winning author Suyi Davies Okungbowa

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Advance Praise

"Both an imaginative work of climate fiction and a shrewd condemnation of contemporary sociopolitical institutions. Lost Ark Dreaming is truly the best of its genre—cautionary, humanizing, and reflective all at once."—Olivie Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six

"Lost Ark Dreaming reads like a locked-room-styled dystopia slick as a fast-paced horror with the tones of social commentary. A surreal fusion of African politics, climate fiction, and mythology in the tongue of poetry and philosophy."—Tlotlo Tsamaase, author of Womb City

"Prepare to be swept away by this epic-on-the-inside novella that will immerse you deeply and immediately with its intensity, pace and vision. Absolutely unputdownable!"—Samit Basu, author of The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport

"Seriously well-worth reading."—Lightspeed

"Okungbowa successfully layers POVs to pull off a very big story in a small amount of time, a tale of a future that seems all too possible given the pace of gentrification and climate change. Lost Ark Dreaming simply cannot be missed."—Reactor

"Okungbowa (Warrior of the Wind) offers readers an amazing, character-driven story set in a vivid, dystopian world."—Library Journal, starred review

"Okungbowa skillfully probes the trio’s immediate distrust of each other, exposing their prejudices and ignorance, while ramping up the action to almost Dune-like intensity. . . .Where the writing really shines, however, is in the small details, like the orange-peel necklace Ngozi wears in memory of his lost sister. Readers will be gratified."—Publishers Weekly

"Both an imaginative work of climate fiction and a shrewd condemnation of contemporary sociopolitical institutions. Lost Ark Dreaming is truly the best of its genre—cautionary, humanizing, and...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781250890757
PRICE $19.99 (USD)
PAGES 192

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Featured Reviews

This novella was a 5 ⭐️ read for me.

Lost Arc Dreaming is a high stakes and fast paced novella that packs the punch of a full length novel. Yekini, Tuoyo, and Ngozi all reside in “the fingers,” massive buildings that are half underwater within which resides the human population after ecological disaster. Told through alternating POV’s between the three characters, as well as interspersed chapters of prose and found documents, this book sees three characters with seemingly nothing in common come together to fight for something bigger than themselves.

Not only was this book fast paced and beautifully written, the found documents and prose that are interspersed added an extra level of beauty and intrigue to the story. The author beautifully creates a world that asks important questions about class, immigration, community, and humanity. This book makes you think, and more importantly it makes you feel. It also leaves you with inconclusive endings within a conclusive ending and made me desperately wish for more. I cannot wait to read more of Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s work, and to see what he comes out with in the future

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This was the best novella I’ve read in years, and one of my favorite reads of the 2023. Great characters, incisive class commentary and a wonderful Nigerian-inspired mythology make this a special and unique science fantasy.

Set in a partially submerged towers rising above a future underwater Lagos, Lost Ark Dreaming follows a cop, a bureaucrat, and an engineer as they investigate a breach in the tower’s lower walls. The back cover copy is right on the money with the comparison to Snow Piercer. The tower is a compelling allegory for class divisions and climate injustice. Okungbowa smartly has each of the POV characters come from a different strata, allowing him to paint a rich picture of his this society and how it mirrors our own. I especially loved the conversation with the descendant of the man who built the tower; it’s a perfect - and darkly funny - depiction of an out-of-touch billionaire.

The world building, prose and action scenes are all expertly done. But what impressed me most is that Okungbowa is able to pull off compelling character arcs for his three protagonists in such a short space. All of them having a compelling backstory, which they have to face in the final actions they take in the climax. All three of them have a satisfying journey, especially the bureaucrat, Ngozi.

My only small quibble is that our heroes’ quest ends up being closely tied to a mcguffin-esque fantasy object that wasn’t clearly described. Okungbowa mostly uses poetry and vague interludes to explain the importance of this object, which left me very fuzzy on what it actually did and why it mattered. Still, this didn’t detract much from my enjoyment or from the emotional resonance of the ending.

I’ve been reading a lot of sci-fi and fantasy novellas this year because they’re getting so trendy, and they often feel short or rushed. Lost Ark Dreaming, on the other hand, felt perfectly adapted to its length. It’s amazing how much depth Okungbowa packs into these pages, giving us a fully realized world and three fleshed out POVs - something many authors can’t pull off in a 500-page novel. A total delight, and highly recommended for any SFF fans.

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4.5/5 - A dystopic eco-sci-fi thriller, with stunning prose interludes that transcend genre convention.

On the surface this is a fast-paced, eco-dystopia story about class, survival and sea monsters. But as soon as we dive below the surface of the story, the importance of memories, the impact of stories and the depth of grief stare back at us through watery eyes.

In the future, humanity takes refuge in tall towers, built to withstand the ever-rising sea levels making life on land uninhabitable. Society is divided into those who live at the top, middle and bottom (under the water level). We're following two 'midders' and a 'lower' as they investigate a leak on a bottom level, only to realize that a sea monster may have infuriated the building.

Suyi Davies Okungbowa cleverly plays with ideas of privilege, power and identity as our characters move throughout the levels of the building to overcome each new obstacle in their way. This book is perfectly paced coming in at 200 pages. I like the forward momentum of the action juxtaposed with short/in-complete flashbacks that build our characters into fully-rounded and flawed humans.

What elevates this book for me are the interludes and alt chapters spread throughout the book. They're used to provide background outside of the immediate storyline we're following, and a meditation on it's themes. It gives the reader space to sit with the story, and I loved it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Publishing for providing an advanced reader copy.

This book is best read while fishing on a boat. If you fall asleep, you'll dream of running through darkened hallways towards the light. Don't forget to breathe.

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I haven’t been reading much science fiction lately and striking out with the few I have, but this slim novel was a welcome reminder of what the genre can do.
In a world reshaped by climate disasters, off the coast of West Africa, the population is surviving in enormous, socioeconomically striated towers. Three very different characters from different levels find themselves coming together to investigate what initially seems as a breach and turns out to be so much more.
Dystopia weaves around mythology to potentially forge a new path for a world that has lost its way. You may call them dreamers, but they are not the only ones. For what is the world but a dream collectively agreed upon. And what worth does that agreement hold if it cannot be revisited and rewritten when change arises and new perspectives are offered.
A striking, dare I say, poetic worldbuilding takes this book a long way. But then it is also exciting, character driven, and compelling in the way that’ll have you turning page after page toward its resolution.
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

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This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.


When I heard that there's a new stunning Novella Novella from award wining Speculative Fiction author of David Mogo, Godhunter and The Nameless Republic Series, Suyi Davies Okungbowa. I had to get my hands on the advanced readers copy.

Set in a dystopian Lagos, many years after the world has been submerged in water and humanity now survives in towers called the Fingers. Lost Ark Dreaming opens through the eyes of Yekini, an analyst.

The story picks up after Yekini is sent to the lower level of the "Finger" to assist a government official to investigate a breach.

Firstly, the author, Suyi Davies Okungbowa mentioned that if you're a fan of the acclaimed dystopian shows, Silo and Snowpiercer, then you'll absolutely love this Novella.
And let me say this, it didn't not disappoint.

From the start of the story, we get to explore this vivid dystopian world Suyi has created. As a scifi Enthusiast, reading Lost Ark Dreaming felt like watching a film. Suyi has a way with his writing that brings his worlds to life and you're transported into the world itself.

From the different character's point of views which is something I highly enjoyed. From the Determined yet Doubting Yekini to the Ambitious but Frightened Ngozi to the Firm yet Passionate Tuoyo. Exploring the Finger—The set of this story — through the 3 different characters was interesting.

Lost Ark Dreaming feels like a more character driven story than a plot driven. Not to say that the plot isn't intriguing. In my opinion, if you're interested in a story that is heavy on the character's perspectives on different societal issues that tend to arise in dystopian worlds like classism.

Then you'll enjoy how these characters relate to their circumstances and are forced to make decisions that determine what their futures would be in mere seconds.

I enjoyed how we get introduced to these characters. We see them in their own spaces and we see a glimpse of who they are. The story progesses and they get tossed into this mysterious scheme that eventually ends to them uncovering the truth about who they are, truly. What it means to come from different parts of the Finger. What it means to rediscover truths buried long deep. What it means to work with someone who doesn't necessarily have the same ideologies as you.

I enjoy Suyi's worlds and characters because they force you to have conversations on what humanity is, what it means to learn to not he afraid to enter another person's world and see through their own perspective.

Lost Ark Dreaming has everything from strong willed characters to mystery to Yoruba mythologies to Rebellion to Rediscovering truths.
This should definitely be on your reading list by 2024. Don't thin it, just go in and have a ride and enjoy. I definitely did.

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This was my first time reading anything by Suyi Davies Okungbowa and I was very excited to start it.
My rating system is as follows for any ARC book:
1 star = DNF, wouldn't recommend this to anyone and found significant flaws in it
2 stars = Finished, not something I would recommend but some may find it good
3 stars = This is a good book, nothing too spectacular but I enjoyed the read
4 stars = This was a fun and intriguing read, would talk about it and look for other works by this author
5 stars = An amazing book, would re-read

Overall rating: 3.5 stars (4 star rating on non-half star sites)
I really enjoyed the book, the premise was very intriguing. For me the character development was a little slow and that caused me to get pulled out of the story a few times to figure out why the character was doing what they were doing.
I would definitely still recommend this to someone who enjoys this style of fantasy work and am excited to see Suyi continue to grow and become an even more stellar author.

Specific feedback:
I felt as if the characters motivations weren't realized soon enough in the book. When we finally meet the final character that's when a lot of the motivation starts to roll out. This made the first half of the book a little sluggish for me, as I was trying to figure out who these characters were as I wasn't seeing anything but their flaws being flaunted on the page.
Once the character development was flushed out I truly enjoyed reading and quickly finished the last 25% of the book in nearly one sitting.
I loved how the world was built and shown throughout the book, there wasn't any tiresome info dump but the world was shown through small tidbits of the characters backstory, epigraph style chapters, and how everyone responded emotionally to situations.

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