The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone set in a science fiction underworld of aliens, refugees, and genetic engineering in Jennifer Marie Brissett's Destroyer of Light
Kirkus—Best Fiction Books of the Year 2021
Tor.com—Best of the Year 2021
New York Public Library—Nine New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reads
Bookriot—20 Must Read Space Fantasy Books for 2021
Book Bub—The 24 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of Fall 2021
BiblioLifestyle—Most Anticipated Fall 2021 Sci-fi, Fantasy & Horror
Having destroyed Earth, the alien conquerors resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the four habitable areas of the planet—Day, Dusk, Dawn, and Night—the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors irrevocably bind three stories:
*A violent warlord abducts a young girl from the agrarian outskirts of Dusk leaving her mother searching and grieving.
*Genetically modified twin brothers desperately search for the lost son of a human/alien couple in a criminal underground trafficking children for unknown purposes.
*A young woman with inhuman powers rises through the insurgent ranks of soldiers in the borderlands of Night.
Their stories, often containing disturbing physical and sexual violence, skate across years, building to a single confrontation when the fate of all—human and alien—balances upon a knife’s-edge.
“Brissett retells the myth of Persephone in this dystopian Afro-futuristic thriller. It is a wonderful story of transformation, survival, and what it means to be human. As effortlessly as she weaves between the past, present, and future, Brissett also blends sci-fi fantasy with a little whodunit. If you enjoy Afrocentric stories and characters this is a book for you.”—San Francisco Book Review
“Reading Destroyer of Light is a disorienting experience. As with so much of the best science fiction, the details of its worldbuilding sound crazy and arbitrary if you just summarize them flatly ... And yet these details coalesce into compelling and disturbing patterns as you read the novel as a whole and reflect upon the implications not just of its plot, but also of the overall environment that it renders."—The Los Angeles Review of Books
"[A] dark, poetic tale of struggling human colonists and ambiguously motivated aliens on a distant planet. Brissett uses the alien setting to explore contemporary issues, including racism, the complexities of allyship, and the trauma experienced by child soldiers. The author’s updated take on a classic myth is both clever and entertaining...Richly developed and profound." —Kirkus, Starred Review
“Compelling.... This is a book about monsters and saviors – and how thin the line can be between the two. It’s about power and colonialism; mother and daughters; the cost of safety.... Brissett has built a story that the 21st century needs, while never forgetting its roots in the Afrofuturism of a previous generation.”—Locus magazine
“Destroyer of Light is proof positive that we're living in a new golden age of science fiction.” —Charlie Jane Anders, Hugo Award-winning author
“Brissett masterfully weaves together years (and lightyears) through a Hades and Persephone retelling filled with the devastating impacts of war and kidnapping, the power dynamics between people and aliens, and the psychic powers that could save—or destroy—them all, again.”—WBUR, NPR Boston
“Destroyer of Light grapples with themes of both the human and post-human experience in a way that is wholly original and seductively engaging. Brissett builds a richly layered and imaginative world that reflects much of our own—the good, the brutal, and the truly monstrous—while daring us to dream of something more. This is a tale not only of becoming and transformation, but about the choices we make that bring us to our destinations. In a time of new, meaningful, and thrilling science fiction, Destroyer of Light is a must read.”—P. Djèlí Clark, Hugo Finalist and author of The Haunting of Tram Car 015
“A saga that combines many of sf’s most beloved tropes—a remnant of humanity struggling to survive on a far away world, aliens whose goals are dangerously unknowable, alien/human hybrids with unpredictable abilities, suspense, plot twists, and that good old sense of wonder. Hugely ambitious, impressively accomplished.” —Karen Joy Fowler
“Destroyer of Light confirms Brissett as one of our finest and most ambitious novelists. A world-spanning epic that explores and explodes what it's like to be both human and post-human. Gorgeously written and heartfelt, it's quite simply one of the best books I've read in a very long time.” —Elizabeth Hand, author of The Book of Lamps and Banners and Curious Toys
“Destroyer of Light is a remarkable novel of lyrical intensity, deep human insight, powerful drama and sharp commentary on human society.”—SciFi Mind
“[For] those who enjoy powerful, intricate, dark works which use speculative elements to delve deeply into multi-faceted characters and social commentary.”—Luminosity Library
“[A] really hard-hitting sci-fi story.”—Book Riot