Last Gate of the Emperor, Book 1
Afrofuturistic adventure hits its targets for sci-fi fans.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Last Gate of the Emperor is a science fiction adventure tale by Kwame Mbalia (Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky) and Prince Joel Makonnen. Wiseguy Yared Heywat is a champion in the augmented-reality game The Hunt for Kaleb's Obelisk, based on African folklore. It has lots of fighting with "killer" robots, but little actual bloodshed. Mild romantic crushes occur in the story.
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What's the Story?
As LAST GATE OF THE EMPEROR starts, Yared Haywat is scraping by as an underground games player in Addis Prime, dependent on his worrywart Uncle Moti and the bionic lioness Besa for security and family stability. When the game's rules are changed and Yared has to input his real name, he's suddenly a real-life target. Uncle Moti disappears and a mysterious fighter known as the Ibis becomes a reluctant ally. Beleaguered by high-tech weapons and monsters out of Ethiopian folklore, Yared, the Ibis, and Besa must work together to save their city and themselves.
Is It Any Good?
Afrofuturism has become a popular genre, and this high-flying African adventure demonstrates its appeal. In Last Gate of the Emperor, Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen concoct a fast-paced tale reminiscent of Star Wars at its best, filled with folklore and high tech. Yared is a wisecracking and likable protagonist, especially when interacting with his pal Besa. There are plenty of plot twists and unexpected revelations. Readers who love sci-fi will find plenty to enjoy here, and they're likely to be on the lookout for further adventures in this universe.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the Ethiopian folklore in Last Gate of the Emperor. Why is it important to learn about your ancestors? Does imagining the future help with present-day problems?
How does being an orphan affect Yared's sense of insecurity?
Is it a good idea to keep secrets? What can go wrong when you tell lies?
- Authors: Kwame Mbalia, Prince Joel Makonnen
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Great Boy Role Models, Space and Aliens
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publication date: May 4, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 31, 2022
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