Again, it was the cover that did it. The eerie face, with its scored lines and sunburst of golden rays, reminded me of an ancient tribal mask. I was intrigued by the apparent disconnect between that and the sci-fi plot summarised on the back of the book. Gavin Chait’s first novel turned out to be quite different from any such novel I’ve read before, and not just for its African setting. While on the one hand it offers a sobering future, in which the planet’s ecology has been ravaged by greed, it also shows seedlings of hope, as people strive, even in the darkest days, to create a better world.