One of the most inventive, unique and brilliant debuts I've read. Rivers places the reader within a post-apocalyptic society resembling the antebellum South, but all contained on the Matilda, a ship hurtling through space to a promised land. Gender norms and genetics, plant life and science have evolved on the Matilda, but racism a religious fervor remain. Aster, a brilliant scientist and slave, and the Surgeon Theo risk it all to bring the oppressive regime down. Solomon Rivers is an incredibly gifted writer and I am hoping for a sequel because I don't think this story is over.