We’d had to be cut free of our mother’s womb. She’d never have been able to push the two-headed sport that was me and Abby out the usual way. Abby and I were fused, you see. Conjoined twins. Abby’s head, torso, and left arm protruded from my chest. But here’s the real kicker; Abby had the magic, I didn’t. Far as the Family was concerned, Abby was one of them, though cursed, as I was, with the tragic flaw of mortality.
Now adults, Makeda and Abby still share their childhood home. The surgery to separate the two girls gave Abby a permanent limp, but left Makeda with what feels like an even worse deformity: no mojo. The daughters of a celestial demigod and a human woman, Makeda and Abby were raised by their magical father, the god of growing things–a highly unusual childhood that made them extremely close. Ever since Abby’s magical talent began to develop, though, in the form of an unearthly singing voice, the sisters have become increasingly distant.
Today, Makeda has decided it’s high time to move out and make her own life among the other nonmagical, claypicken humans–after all, she’s one of them. In Cheerful Rest, a run-down warehouse space, Makeda finds exactly what she’s been looking for: an opportunity to live apart from Abby and begin building her own independent life. There’s even a resident band, led by the charismatic (and attractive) building superintendent.
But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to discover her own talent–and reconcile with Abby–if she’s to have a hope of saving him . . .
This was the only book by Nalo Hopkinson that my library had , so I had to get it instead of Brown Girl in the Ring which is what I originally wanted. Turns out, I’m very glad this is the book they had because I adored it, and it’s definitely made me want to read the rest of her books!
The book starts off with Makeda looking at a new place to live as she wants space from her twin, Abby, and because unlike her sister, she has no magic, known as “mojo”. However, the next day it turns out that their father has gone missing from the care home he was in and nobody has any idea where he’s gone.
One thing I really liked about this book was the characters. They were all very diverse in a variety of ways – Abby has one leg shorter than the other and so relies on crutches to get around while Makeda suffers from seizures, a lot of them are queer and of course they’re not white either. Their family, a mix of human and non-human, are also all very interesting ranging from their Uncle, who is literally Death, to their twin cousins who watch over twins. One of the main themes of the book was family and relationships and it was really nice to see the relationship between the two sisters and how they both dealt with their various issues.
The worldbuilding and descriptions in the book are just fantastic. You feel really immersed in the story and despite not having much familiarity with the myths that inspired it, I was still able to enjoy the story. It definitely made me want to learn more about Orishas though as they feature heavily in this book and I feel there were a lot of references that went over my head. Despite that, I still adored the book and would highly recommend it. One thing I should mention is that there is some incest in the book, as that may make some uncomfortable, however it makes complete sense in the book given that it deals with supernatural entities – so it’s similar to that found in the Greek pantheon.