Written by: Akpoebi Tno Daniel Dan-Asisah
Edited by: Tamara-Tonye Dan-Asisah
Art by: Tno Daniel Dan-Asisah
Science fiction has always been something I have enjoyed for a long time and has been dominated by non-marginalized people for the majority of its existence. So it was refreshing to read a story told from a different perspective by African creators in Signs of the Gathering. This piece of work is a book, but it is better described as a visual novel. The work has multiple parts that are like a comic, and each part is called “Leafs.” Each Leaf has expressive artwork that goes with it, which is a unique storytelling approach.
This story tackles some things that have amazed the masses for so long. We, as science-fiction readers, can only hope what happens in the story actually takes place; such as predicting the future and it throws in some higher beings. This really gives the story a futuristic feel within which our protagonist, Vivian, is on a quest to build a space-faring team in Nigeria with what seems to be the help of an extra-terrestrial being.
The readers come in at a point when Vivian has already made contact with these unknown beings, and they are working together toward this goal of space travel from a home base in Nigeria, possibly Lagos. This task will not be so easily accomplished due to a lot of roadblocks Vivian seems to be facing. It will be interesting to see how this will unfold and what part the extraterrestrial will play in it later in the story. As we follow Vivian, we are suddenly transported into what may be described as another realm or maybe even outer space, as we have yet to discover. The writers do an excellent job of describing this otherworldly experience which leads to a glimpse of a very dangerous villain that is not of this world.
There are some grammatical errors that would need to be corrected for a better flow and understanding of the story, but it doesn’t detract from the larger story being told. We have to follow up with the Leafs as they become available in order to get a more in-depth experience with the main characters that we have met so far. I am curious to see this story blossom. The way this story opens up makes me curious about these other beings and how their interaction with humans will unfold. I would love to know their origins and how they came to know Vivian and want to help her. One such character is known as The Guide and appears to genuinely want to help Vivian. The guide does seem to be an entity that is different from the being that is using Vivian as a vessel or host.
In a time where science fiction has taken the world by storm, “Signs of the Gathering” has the potential to make its presence known. Hopefully, there will be more books from this series to round out the full picture of this distinctive story.
Amber T. Hubbard is a writer, journalist, and creator of Kasiah: Mother Nature Incarnate, a comic that is coming soon. She was also featured in Sheena Howard’s Encyclopedia of Comics and has been writing since she was 12 years old.