On a more positive note, the use of Caribbean patois/vernacular is refreshing and the magic system is somewhat unique although I wish the author had delved more into it's complexity and cultural roots. She incorporates voodoo and Caribbean folk-lore into her post-apocalyptic setting of Toronto (it was fun to recognize the various streets and places mentioned) that has become ghettoized, overrun by poverty, crime, violence and drugs. A highly addictive substance has hit the streets and is causing mayhem. All the rich people have moved outside the city to the suburbs leaving Toronto in the hands of gangs. Again, we have seen a similar kind of set-up like this many times before. I don't mind if authors rely on using familiar genre conventions, just back it up with good writing and make it interesting in some way. Unfortunately, Hopkinson does neither of these very well and the novel often feels rather dull and disjointed as it trudges along towards a lackluster deus ex machina ending. Nonetheless, I will give her kudos for having the CN Tower as the crime lord's headquarters.
We certainly need more authors of color to be recognized in the SF/Fantasy genre and while this novel was disappointing, Nalo Hopkinson demonstrates that she has a creative imagination but has not yet hit her stride as an accomplished writer.