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Escaping Exodus

(Escaping Exodus #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  615 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Escaping Exodus is a story of a young woman named Seske Kaleigh, heir to the command of a biological, city-size starship carved up from the insides of a spacefaring beast. Her clan has just now culled their latest ship and the workers are busy stripping down the bonework for building materials, rerouting the circulatory system for mass transit, and preparing the cavernous ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Harper Voyager
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Nicky Drayden
Aug 01, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm so excited for y'all to read this book! This one really took me down a rabbit hole of weirdness.

"An Afrofuturist love story, set inside a giant space-creature, about two women of different worldbuilding and sharp characterization." - Kirkus Reviews

K.J. Charles
Oct 26, 2019 added it
Shelves: weird, sf
I have previously said there is no weird-ass plot turn Nicky Drayden won't take. I would like to underline that and maybe add some stars in various colours of highlighter pen.

This is a spectacularly bizarre concept, of spacegoing societies living inside giant interstellar beasts, in the body cavities. It's quite staggeringly biological, full of fluids and sphincters and organs in a way that's quite overwhelming at points. There is...ooze. Alien jizz. It's sticky.

The society is matriarchal and
This was a hell of a ride. I don't even truly know where to begin with my review because honestly this was my first dive into this intense of a sci-fi book. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I definitely thought that this was a great read. Trigger Warnings: body horror, violence, death, slavery .

Escaping Exodus focuses on this matriarchal alien (this is the best way I know how to describe them without really giving away too much) society that inhabits a beast/huge creature that travels throug
A biopunk horror generation ship sci-fi novel with a main f/f relationship between two black girls, a strong and well-thought-out environmentalist message, really well written body horror, and, uh, plot-relevant tentacle sex.

I loved what it had to say and what it was trying to achieve, but some things - especially in the ending - just didn't end up working for me. I've said this before about Nicky Drayden's books, but there's always something about the pacing, about the transition from one scene
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.5 Stars
Wow! This is everything I wanted in a weird, diverse space opera!

This was one of those wonderful reading experiences when I picked up a book on a whim, with very few preconceived ideas, and absolutely fell in love with the story. The premise reminded me of the novel, The Stars are Legion, but this was honestly so much better executed.

Given the biological nature of the world, there were some rather gross scenes that I personally enjoyed, but might turn off more squeemish readers. The end
Katie Gallagher
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
For other fun bookish stuff, visit my blog!
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. Escaping Exodus debuts October 15th.

The seemingly acid trip-inspired cover of Escaping Exodus does the words inside justice: this book is unabashedly weird. Drayden chronicles a matriarchal society that has made the innards of a gargantuan, living space beast their home; when one space beast is on the way out health-wise, they literall
I loved a lot of the weirdness and originality and delightfully disgusting body horror. It has fabulous world building! The story, which centers on a unique matriarchal society living inside a giant space beast, is quite unlike anything I've read before - there's so much shit and puke and oozing viscera all over the place.

The final third, though, has to be one of the most hair pullingly frustrating things I've read in a long time. It just took such a huge and shockingly swift downturn in quality
The Artisan Geek
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it

A huge thank you to Harper Voyager US for gifting me a copy of Escaping Exodus! This is a space opera set in a time in which earth is all but a distant memory. With extrasolar planets still out of reach, the remains of humanity has managed to survive by creating colonies within humongous space beasts, leaving after mining all their resources. The book follows Seske, a girl first in line to the throne of her clan. After having just found a new beast to inhabit, their new home is plagues wi
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is such a weird concept, but it's executed so well and I couldn't help but to find it all truly fascinating as a concept. The world we follow is the inside of a giant space dwelling beast. This creature is the home to a whole civilisation of humans, in this case they're all people of colour, and largely dominated by females, however they're not the only beast-dwellers in space.

What I thought most interesting about this was the biological elements. The civilisation live in the cavities and
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, lgbt
A complex detailed book that involves parasitization and exploitation of giant space-dwelling creatures by a far future human culture.

Seske Kaleigh is the heir-apparent to the matriline that leads her people. Her society is in the early stages of colonization of the current "beast", a process that involves massive modification to the beast's physiology, and will cause its death in only a decade or so. But Seske is ignorant of many of the details of the lifecycle of her culture, particularly in t
Thistle & Verse
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Video review here:
I got an ARC in exchange for a review. Opinions are my own. Drayden has created an imaginative playground of a world that allows her to showcase her strengths: her creativity and her humor. I was fascinated by the social orders and mechanics of the beast described within the book. The chemistry between Seske/ Adalla and their rival love interests was believable, and I became heavily invested in certain relationships working out. While the narrators
Feb 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
I HATE Escaping Exodus. Reading it was truly enraging. Everything that could have been enjoyable was eclipsed by the loathsome Seske. This is a story centered around an awful character the reader is supposed to like, a book that emphasizes its worst aspect.

Seske is one of the most selfish, immature, oblivious, and entitled characters I have ever encountered in any work of fiction. She infuriates me so much it’s hard to express coherently. The summation is that she wants to have her cake and eat
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: g-scifi
Jun 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
This could possibly be the most beautiful cover ever.

But, forgetting the cover for a moment, this story sounds incredibly weird and fascinating.

A society living inside a giant space beast, that's hella queer. Sign me up!

Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.

I love weird, squishy, biological scifi, and I was impressed by how perfectly Escaping Exodus delivered on this front. When I originally read the premise on Goodreads – “a city-size starship carved up from the insides of a space-faring beast” – I knew I had to get my hands on this book. I’ll admit that I came in feeling a hint of trepidation: what if the beast is relegated to being in the background? What if it’s a normal spac
3.5 stars. Squelchy, bloody....this book has many moments when I thought “ew!” thanks to all the biological tech the people on board the beast, a massive creature moving through space, have developed over generations of travel. The matrilineal society is complex with different classes from the rulers all the way down to the lowest labourers, elaborate rituals and dress, and many roles within each family.
The story concerns two young women from different classes, who start as friends and grow to f
The Captain
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from Goodreads Giveaways.  Arrrrr!  In return I will write an honest review.  So here are me honest musings . . .

I have been meaning to read this author's work for a while now.  I heard about this book from Matey Sarah.  The gorgeous cover and the mention of the spaceship being "insides of a spacefaring beast" is what made me click this cover and enter the giveaway.  And then I won!  This book was quite an experience.  I really enjoyed this intr
Sharonda Isadora
Complex world building
Unlikable characters
Likable characters
Lack of character growth
Interesting and creative story arc
Pacing of the story is fast to slow
I was completely bored with Part 3
I liked Adalla way more that I liked Sekse.

Escaping Exodus has the remnants of a space opera with a tinge of horror. I was most interested in her idea of female to male hierarchy as I myself love stories as such and I'm also interested to see where authors go when they decide to take on this trope.

The story is
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

A unique matriarchal society set in space and filled with sci-fi goodness and a tiny bit of horror concerning the idea of bodies. I liked the ideas behind the story and how the characters tried to race against time as the Sister wants to get power in her own hands. The lost star goes to the slightly YA feeling of the book. If it had more pages and it was set in the Adult spectrum of readers then it would be even more spectacula
4.5 out of 5 stars

This was an *exceptionally* enjoyable, delightful, engaging book. It was the first time I had read something by this author however I was so impressed by it that I plan on checking out her other works. The story line is well thought out, the characters have depth and you find yourself almost instantly drawn in to their lives, the drama and the inner workings of living out in space. The author has done a fine job of creating her own "fantasy" world, complete with it's own univer
Cornelia Johansson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lesa Divine
Sep 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021-tbr, i-own
I can't wait. I just got a email saying I won the Goodreads giveaway for this book.

Too excited...
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, did-not-like
DNF around Chp 5

Oh, I am so sad. I really, really, really thought I could just ignore the reviews and enjoy this, because it clicks all the buttons I wanted it to click, at least as far as the description goes. Unfortunately, the book itself is, shall we say, flawed?

Well okay, even that is probably a bit too far even. This book is probably for somebody, that somebody just isn't me.

To start, I have a problem with books that act like scifi but are really just excuses for fantasy things to happen.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Super weird and wonderful. One of the things I loved thinking about reading this was what if the people were all teeny tiny people and the beast was actually like human size? Like, imagine this same story but if the characters were all bacteria or viruses. Whoa, right? The visuals were all really stunning, could really imagine this crazy world inside the body. Plus, love the idea of heart murmurs as creatures you could keep as pets.

Nicky Drayden does something rare, her stories are all super we
Ms. Woc Reader
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was glad to see adult sci-fi by a black author so I eagerly requested this book. Ive never read soace opera and this one had the twist of the characters flaoting through space in a giant floating beast versus a ship.There's so many strange occurrences in this story that I'm at a lost for words. At times it was hard to look away but I can't say it was particularly satisfying.
Nicole Field
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-f
Lesbian space adventure was all I knew going into this novel and I can honestly say that it ended up being SO much more than that.

I didn't realise until I opened it up that this was going to be a novel where the matriarchy is set up to be as toxic as many ways as the patriarchy (absolute power corrupts absolutely). There is also class distinction in a really toxic way. And this is highlighted particularly between the main characters of Seske--the Matris' daughter--and the young woman she's in l
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: sf, fiction
Many decades ago generation ships were a popular trope to the point of even having a bad television series, The Starlost after which they fell out of favor. Recently we had Hurley's The Stars Are Legion, which was pretty amazing and now we have Dryden's take on the same.

In Escaping Exodus we have desperate spacefarers who live like parasites inside of travelling space beasts, killing their intelligent hosts, one after the other. They are ruled by a strange matriarchal government with rigid caste
mad mags
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Daidi’s bells! What a weird, wickedly funny, and ultimately empathetic ride.

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for slavery, mass murder, rape, and animal abuse. This review contains some general spoilers about the world building - so please skip it if you want to read the book with fresh eyes.)

“She?” I ask, eyes wide. Never in all my dizzy dreams had I thought that our beast was something other than a thing, an animate object, a sustainer of l
Beth Cato
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, science
I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.

Escaping Exodus is a space opera/generation ship book unlike any I have read before. Innovative, brilliant, outright weird at times, and fascinating in its execution--I struggled to get into it at first, because it was so different. Soon enough, though, everything began to click for me, and the rest of the book zoomed by.

Descendants of Africa departed for the stars. Now, centuries onward, they rely on space-faring whale-like beings to keep t
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads give-a-way. This book is set in a future where Earth is a distant memory and humans are living in space in the bodies of living space beasts. These beasts can only support the humans for a few years then they must find another beast to colonize.
Seske Kaleigh is in line to be a future clan leader. She has a rebellious streak and with her friend Adalla she decides to investigate the cause of the violent tremors in their newest home. They discover things they never e
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Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she’s not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required.

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Escaping Exodus (2 books)
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