Blog Tour (Review): The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy

ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08GJQX4R9
Publisher ‏ : ‎Tor Books (July 13, 2021)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 13, 2021
Language ‏ : ‎ English



“Every now and then a work comes along that makes you wonder whether you are reading or dreaming. And you’re not sure it matters which.” ―Nikki Giovanni

“You ever have the feeling that if you don’t read something, you may be missing out on something momentous happening? . . . I got that vibe from the first page of The Freedom Race. It has a prescience about it in the tradition of Octavia Butler. . . . If ‘resilience’ was a book, it would be The Freedom Race.” ―Maurice Broaddus, author of Buffalo Soldier

“Roy (The Hotel Alleluia) turns to speculative fiction for the first time with this lyrical, Afrofuturist hero’s quest set in the not-too-distant future. …[Ji-Ji’s] harrowing but profoundly spiritual quest for sovereignty against all odds impresses. Readers … will appreciate both the tenacious heroine and Roy’s intricate prose stylings.” ―Publishers Weekly

“The future Lucinda Roy calls up in The Freedom Race is a fierce, unsettling riff on our past and present. Instead of watching democracy evaporate and justice fail, Ms. Roy challenges us all to get over ourselves and join the race for freedom.” ―Andrea Hairston, author of Will Do Magic for Small Change

“American magic-realism meets the outcome of the Second U.S. Civil War in a well-told, but brutally jolting, strangely prescient, and soul-haunting narrative.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., bestselling author of the Saga of Recluceseries

The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope.

In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and Biracial “Muleseeds” are bred.

Raised in captivity on Planting 437, kitchen-seed Jellybean “Ji-ji” Lottermule knows there is only one way to escape. She must enter the annual Freedom Race as a runner.

Ji-ji and her friends must exhume a survival story rooted in the collective memory of a kidnapped people and conjure the voices of the dead to light their way home.

You can purchaseThe Freedom Race at the following Retailers:
I received a copy of The Freedom Race for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.
I’m not sure how to begin this review. The cover is gorgeous, I love the colors and the birds. There was something in the artwork that pulled me into reading the blurb. The blurb is what had me click to be a part of the blog. And it is the writing and story that has me writing today.
Not for the faint of heart, The Freedom Race is a speculative fiction set in a world that could be our future. I want to say it would never happen and I don’t necessarily think it would, but my life isn’t the same as others. Ji-Ji Lottermule is a person of color, a slave, and running for her freedom. I don’t like thinking that a new civil war would happen and that slavery would happen again. I don’t like thinking that my descendants could go through this no matter which side. It’s . . . hard. Painful.
And yet, Lucinda Roy has written a book that I can’t help but wonder that is possible. The writing is beautiful and painful. There will be times you will want to set the book aside and do something good. And then, you will want to pick the book up to be with Ji-Ji and learn more about the world. You will be immersed in the story.
Right off the bat, I fell in love with the narrative. The book starts with the prologue where a bit of folklore is explored. Ji-Ji is a part of the Toteppi, a group of people descended from birdlike people. The story in the prologue pulled me in. I love folklore and this felt like a real story. For all I know, it is. I’ve never heard of it but that doesn’t mean anything. With the folklore and the modern-day items treated like antiquities, the world Roy has written becomes more realistic.
I don’t know how else to tell you to read this book, but if you love speculative fiction, want to try the genre out, or are looking into the future, pick this book up.
Photo Credit: Larry Jackson

Novelist and poet Lucinda Roy’s latest book deal is with Tor/Macmillan for her futuristic slave narrative series The Freedom Race. Her previous novels are Lady Moses, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and The Hotel Alleluia. Her poetry books are entitled Wailing the Dead to Sleep, The Humming Birds, and Fabric: Poems. She also authored the memoir No Right to Remain Silent: What We’ve Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech. Among her awards are the Eighth Mountain Prize for Poetry, the 2017 Zenobia Hikes Woman of Color in the Academy Award, and the Baxter Hathaway Prize for her long slave narrative poem “Needlework.” An Alumni Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech, she has been a guest on numerous TV and radio shows, including The CBS Evening News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS’s Sunday Morning, Oprah, and NPR. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, USA Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education, North American Review, American Poetry Review, and many other publications. She delivers keynotes and presentations around the country on creative writing, diversity, campus safety, and higher education. Currently, she is working on her speculative novel series, a book of ekphrastic poems, and a series of oil paintings depicting the Middle Passage.

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