Bonfires of the Gods
Duwamabou is a name for one’s private hell or possible purgatory. The characters portrayed in Bonfires of the Gods are each living through their own hell as tribal warfare has beset the city of Warri, Nigeria. The Ijaws and Itsekiris are battling for supremacy and unleashing bloodshed and atrocities throughout the city. The ties between those on the opposing sides are being fractured, some permanently. The fog of war is blurring the lines for those who are merely witnesses to the chaotic devastation or enactors of war crimes. The first two characters introduced are in love and set to get married, but when the woman’s family meets her fiance, they disapprove of his bloodline. Will love prevail or will blood prove an even stronger tie? Then we cut to a father who has gone from ecstatic over his two sons’ imminent visit to desperate to escape a growing violent mob. The father, unable to reach his boys, is wracked with fear of the consequences of them meeting the mob with tragic results. Can a long-time friend aid him in his flight and alert the boys?
A journalist has been a spectator in various war zones, each assignment diverse in location but similar in brutality. His wife frets over his current assignment and the dangers inherent in carrying out his job. Is anyone truly safe when bullets are ample and anger and bloodthirst are rampant? A lawyer has been out of the country when the new unrest greets him with swift ferocity. Do you take part in settling scores, taking back what was once your people’s? Do you try to stop your family from participating in the bloodletting?
A pair of brothers arrive home to their father’s house. Shock is their feeling as the place appears to have been ransacked and their father is clearly absent. They find a note warning them of peril, and soon the peril comes to their doorstep. A dear friend of the family is dispatched by the unruly mob, a fire is set, and gunshots are exchanged. Is there truly a safe haven in the human wreckage of a war-torn country?
Bonfires of the Gods is a heart-stopping and emotionally fraught tale told with newslike precision but also with empathy. No sides are taken in the author’s descriptions–each character is unique in their story, the ground zero of war being their unifying factor. The reader is treated to the view of both parties to the conflict, and the futility of bloodshed and the emotional toll wrought are illustrated in almost poetic nature. This is a book to be read with an open heart and mind, and both will come away deeply affected by the end. An excellent work by Andrew Eseimokumo Oki.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Author||Andrew Eseimokumo Oki|
|Page Count||239 pages|
|Publisher||Carline Fhurst Publishing LLC|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|