Synopses & Reviews
An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last.
A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witnesses and victims to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.
"Emotional prose and distinctive characters highlight an incredible story that will touch readers' hearts and minds. A compelling tale of invasive occupation and emotional uprising, Turnbull's debut is complex and enthralling." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"A parable of cultural conflict, conflicting moralities, colonialism, and the costs of being a decent person in the midst of desperate times....a serious, important book — it's also a fun and rewarding one." Analog Science Fiction and Fact
"As his well-drawn characters wrestle with interspecies challenges, Turnbull imparts lessons that both embrace and transcend culture and race to drive at the heart of what it means to be human." Tananarive Due, American Book Award winner, executive producer of Horror Noire
"...a stunningly intricate portrait of humanity, capturing hopes and dreams, flaws and failings with remarkable depth....a blast to read and a meaningful exploration of the bearing of colonialism and the perils of human ambition." Sylvain Neuvel, author of The Test and the Themis Files trilogy
About the Author
Cadwell Turnbull is a graduate from the North Carolina State University's Creative Writing MFA in Fiction and English MA in Linguistics. He was the winner of the 2014 NCSU Prize for Short Fiction and attended Clarion West 2016. His short fiction has appeared in The Verge, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Asimov's Science Fiction. His Asimov's short story "When the Rains Come Back" made Barnes and Noble's Sci-Fi & Fantasy's Short Fiction Roundup in April 2018. His Nightmare story "Loneliness Is in Your Blood" was selected for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018. His Asimov's novelette "Other Worlds and This One" was also selected by the anthology as a notable story. The Lesson is his debut novel.
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One of the more exciting publishing developments of recent years has been the increased support for science fiction and fantasy books written by authors of color and featuring diverse protagonists and world-building based on non-Western mythology and history...