Omar Epps Afrofuturistic YA Fantasy Novel Unique Excerpt


An illustration of a woman in a lavishly ornamented outfit staring forward with two men behind her.

Picture: Delacorte Press

Billed as “for followers of Black Panther and Youngsters of Blood and Bone,” Nubia: The Awakening has one other draw: it’s co-written by actor and producer Omar Epps, whose dozens of credit embody Scream 2, Love & Basketball, Home, and This Is Us. io9 has an unique excerpt to share right this moment from this upcoming launch.

Right here’s a plot synopsis to begin issues off:

For Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho, Nubia is a thriller. Earlier than they had been born, a large storm destroyed their ancestral homeland, forcing their households to flee throughout the ocean to New York Metropolis. Nubia, a utopic island nation off the coast of West Africa, was no extra, and their dad and mom’ sorrow was too deep for them to share a lot of their historical past past the folklore.

However New York, ravaged by local weather change and sophistication division, is much from a protected haven for refugees, and Nubians reside as outcasts, struggling to outlive within the consistently flooding decrease half of Manhattan, whereas the wealthy thrive within the tech-driven sky metropolis referred to as the Up Excessive.

To many, being Nubian means you’re fated for a life tormented by difficulties and disrespect. However Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho are starting to really feel there is likely to be extra. One thing inside them is altering, giving every of them extraordinary powers. Extraordinary and terrifying powers that appear to be tied to the secrets and techniques their dad and mom have stored from them.

And there are folks Up Excessive watching, desirous to do something they’ll to change into much more highly effective than they already are. Now Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho will likely be confronted with the selection—do they use their inheritance to raise their folks, or to go away them behind. The destiny of their metropolis, and of their folks, hangs within the stability.

Right here’s the attractive full cowl by Adeyemi Adegbesan, adopted by the excerpt, which introduces the character of Zuberi and the unusual world she finds herself in.

Image for article titled Read an Excerpt From Actor Omar Epps' Exciting New Afrofuturistic YA Fantasy Novel

Picture: Delacorte Press

She turned again to the bag, shifting her weight as she landed extra blows earlier than switching to excessive kicks. She crouched low, her legs shaking from the exertion. She should’ve already been out within the park for not less than an hour, and she or he was feeling it in all places. Didn’t matter. Ache was a part of the method, and she or he welcomed it with open arms. Punching and kicking and maneuvering across the bag each day helped Zuberi cope with no matter she wanted to cope with earlier than she may very well be a “common particular person,” as Vriana preferred to place it.

On the following punch, she linked with a pointy nook of the bag. Shiny ache zinged up her arm and she or he stepped again. It was then that she heard a voice, a whisper.

Zuberi’s head whipped round as she sought the supply. She didn’t count on to be within the park alone—many individuals used it for recreation and, in some instances, a house. However this early, it was normally quiet. Zuberi swiped at her forehead earlier than catching sight of one thing stirring within the brush throughout from her.

“Somebody there?” she known as out, flexing her fingers. Extra stirring. Zuberi swore she heard a type of gasping sound, adopted by a cough.

She bit her lip. It was inconceivable to not hear her dad’s voice in her head, telling her that this may very well be a entice and to run away—now. As the pinnacle of his personal safety firm, he knew each trick and rip-off within the ebook. Town was rife with determined folks, and desperation made folks harmful.

However Zuberi additionally knew that if some mugger was hiding within the brush, they’d picked the incorrect lady.

She took just a few tentative steps towards the comb. As she bought nearer, a cool April breeze kicked up, making her shiver. She blinked on the mud stirred up round her, then opened her eyes once more.


At first, Zuberi didn’t know what she was seeing. It was like a wisp of air, one thing each utterly there and never, like a spark of electrical energy zipping over an uncovered wire. Right here and gone once more, greater than shadow however not by a lot. A wisp of a determine, barely discernible within the haze of morning. She blinked once more, considering the morning’s exertion was attending to her.

And that was when the wisp sharpened.

A lady appeared, with lengthy braids over her shoulders and eyes that glowed within the beams of daylight that fell by the branches of the timber. Her gaze settled on Zuberi, piercing, unforgiving. She wore lengthy robes, her arms crossed. Zuberi felt as if she was being judged, however for what?

The girl’s eyes drifted down, and Zuberi began. There, on the bottom, two toes poked out from behind a tree. A lady—the identical girl who Zuberi noticed clearly floating simply above—was handed out, tucked right into a hole within the tree trunk beneath an array of branches that held a faculty of nu-raves. Her eyes had been closed, her head slumped ahead. Her pores and skin was tinged purple, drool dribbling down her chin.

Zuberi recoiled.

Goddess . . .

She knew what she was seeing, even when she’d by no means seen it so up shut earlier than. She knew by the best way the lady’s veins swelled on her arms and the way her cheeks hung slack that these had been the indicators of Elevation.

Elevation. Even the medication that swarmed the town had been laced with guarantees of Up Excessive residing. It made Zuberi’s abdomen churn, particularly now, as the lady in entrance of her twitched.

However whereas Elevation defined the lady’s situation, it didn’t clarify the determine floating above her. The girl continued to stare down at her in judgment, by and thru. That gaze, it reminded Zuberi of her father and her aunties. It reminded her—

Abruptly, the determine was gone. Zuberi squinted, then closed her eyes, then opened them once more. The air was clear, empty. She stepped again, crossing her arms and squeezing them tight to her physique. She felt dizzy.

She’d pushed herself too exhausting, clearly. Hallucinations had been an issue with dehydration and overexertion. Her father advised her so on a regular basis. And when Zuberi seemed again up at her empty water bottle, she knew she’d accomplished means an excessive amount of this morning.

Excerpt copyright © 2022 by 72073 Inc.

Jacket artwork copyright © 2022 by Adeyemi Adegbesan

Revealed by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random Home Youngsters’s Books, a division of Penguin Random Home LLC, New York.

Nubia: The Awakening by Omar Epps and Clarence A. Haynes will likely be launched November 8; you may pre-order a replica right here.

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