Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Science Fiction/Suspense/Post-Apocalyptic
Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words
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A Harlem based writer, Gary Walker has one other book, Pretty People are Highly Flammable.
For more, visit Walker's website.
“It has been a few years since the deaths of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tanisha Anderson, Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland.
A mysterious condition invades the U.S., erasing the Black individual’s ability to speak any known languages. A bizarre new dialect has surfaced instead. Unable to comprehend their surroundings, they take to the streets and do what they can to survive. This sparks nationwide panic, triggering a government mandate to capture Black people and transport them to isolation camps.
Marketing executive Vanessa Landing risks everything to fight for their freedom, not realizing the web of deception awaiting her, nor the liberating love that will transform her from an insecure corporate pawn into the fierce warrior she was meant to be.”
As part of the book description the author or publisher describe Ooga Booga as “one of the first fictional renderings of the #BlackLivesMatter movement told via a speculative, futuristic lens.” It may be nitpicking, but I'm not sure I agree with that. While undeniably speculative and futuristic, Ooga Booga has nothing to do with the movement and making that connection feels more like a marketing ploy than anything else. However, it could be viewed as a way to show why that movement is needed. The addition of the speculative elements might make the subject more palatable for those who would be uncomfortable were it to hew too close to contemporary truths.
Regardless of the applicability or lack thereof to current events, I found myself making those comparisons. While part of my brain rebelled against accepting the isolation camps, the comparisons to the Japanese internment camps of World War II were too obvious to not accept the possibility. I found Ooga Booga to be an interesting thought experiment, playing a game of “what if,” which seems to me what speculative fiction of this kind is all about.
Some adult language.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars