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Midnight Robber

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,636 ratings  ·  364 reviews
An alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here.

It's Carnival time, and the Carribean-colonized planet of Toussaint is celebrating with music, dance and pageantry. Masked "Midnight Robbers" waylay revelers with brandished weapons and spellbinding words. But to young Tan-Tan, the Robber Queen is simply a favourite costume to wear at the festival--until her power-corrupte
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Paperback, 329 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,636 ratings  ·  364 reviews


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Rick Riordan
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A rich and vibrant mixture of science fiction and West African/Caribbean folklore, Midnight Robber tells the story of a young girl Tan-Tan growing up on the world Toussaint, populated mostly by the descendants of Haitian colonists. Tan-Tan has a pretty good life at first. Her father Antonio is the mayor of the Cockpit County. Like most people in her colony, her needs are taken care of by Granny Nanny, the uber-computer that controls and takes care her citizens through her Anansi Web, anticipatin ...more
Elle (TheBookishActress)
This is a very very good sci-fi book about trauma and building a new identity.

To really explain you why you should read this, spoilers will need to be used. It takes the book until almost halfway through for the actual point of attack to appear. The problem is that it is impossible to talk in detail about this novel’s second half without talking about its themes, which are… a lot. So before recommending this book, I want to warn as a spoiler: (view spoiler)
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Bradley
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf
Great book, even if it took me a bit to flow into the creole, but right off the bat it starts and finishes with hard-SF fully mixing with Anansi-tale.

What comes first? The Anansi-tale or the life of the Midnight Robber Tam-Tam? Who knows, we? Either way, both help define and refine and divine the tale.

Who is the Midnight Robber? She be the one to save two for every life she take. She's the myth of she who punishes the wicked and help those in need. She's the wronged who repays in both the good
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Ashley Nuckles
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Another school book this semester hahaha gotta love school. Loved the Caribbean influences and hard topics she delved into but overall the story didn’t appeal to me nor keep me interested
Lindsay
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book has a central issue to it without which it really can't be meaningfully discussed. It is a spoiler to something that doesn't start until about 40% in the book, and frankly, had I known that this was the subject of the book I never would have picked it up. I'm kind of glad I did though.

I would recommend you skip the remainder of this review if you don't want to read the spoiler, because I'm going to proceed as if you're aware of it. Sorry, I don't want to put the whole review under spoi
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Dawn C
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: media-audible
Aaah ms. Hopkinson <3

This was excellent! Drawing heavily on West African/Carribean folklore (as all good African SFF should), it’s a story of a young girl growing up with an abusive father, which leads her to escape and refuge among another, different but accepting people called the douen. Along the way she learns to fend for herself and her rightful place in the society she had to run from. As usual Hopkinson’s writing is sharp as jagged rocks and unsentimental, despite the heavy topics it deal
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Anthony
Nalo Hopkinson has crafted a magical, mesmerizing modern day folktale, pulsing with life, heartbreak, beauty, and an unfettered imagination. Propelled by an utterly original, poetic, thrillingly inventive patois, the story pours forth with an unstoppable, emotionally rich energy. Moving and scary and dreamlike and at times hilarious, Midnight Robber is absolutely unforgettable.
Arlene
Love it!

I love this book, Tan Tan is such a strong characters and the worlds that Hopkinson creates for Tan Tan to grow in are just so beautiful and mysterious and dangerous. I’m a sucker for this book, and the audio and fantastic! I can’t wait to read this again!
Kaa
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a hard book to read, with some major content warnings ((view spoiler)). But Nalo Hopkinson has such a distinctive, powerful voice that brings life to her characters and world, and I was thoroughly drawn in. I loved the occasional insertion of Anansi stories that retold events in Tan-Tan's life in a mythologized way. I'd previously read one of these stories in the excellent collection Skin Folk, but it gained new depth here in context. ...more
Alexa
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: woc-16, fab-16
A magical story-telling style, musically told, with a plot that weaves its way through some horrific landscapes in the most uplifting way. A science fiction rumination on the power of myths, on the nature of humanity, but oh such a damn fine story!
Allison Hurd
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wanted to go to sleep, but I can't, so instead I'll review this brilliant, awful, mesmerizing, repulsive book.

CONTENT WARNING (some mild spoilers I can't avoid.) (view spoiler)

Things to admire:

-The writing. The book
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Bart Everson
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: octavia-sf
I like science fiction. I like Caribbean cultures. But I've never looked for the intersection of the two. Actually, now I think about it, I have encountered lots of science fictional themes in reggae lyrics. But certainly I never thought to look for a science fiction novel written from a Caribbean perspective.

So that was the first thing I liked about Midnight Robber. It begins on the Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint during Carnival. We read this for my book club here in New Orleans just a
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Soo
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mini-Review: Mix of Book & Audio

4.5 Stars for Narration by Robin Miles
3 Stars for Tan-Tan
4 Stars for All of the Tales Woven Together

Midnight Robber is tale of tragedy and hard won triumphant. It is a strange tale of survival in a penal colony and the disturbing paths love can take. I loved the sing-song, flow of the words and the way Miles made it all come to vibrant life.

A part of me wants to rate the book higher because it's so well done, but I had too many questions rise while I followed the
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Allison
I'm not sure it's fair to mark this as 'abandoned' when I only read a few pages in the first place. Normally I wouldn't even consider that 'begun.' But I thought I should at least mention why I quit so early.

It's all because of the dialect in combination with the world-building. It usually takes some concentration to comprehend a new world, but when that world is introduced in a dialect that you can barely understand... it's rough. The first few pages were such hard work for me to decipher and
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Althea Ann
Nov 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I keep hearing great things about Nalo Hopkinson, and I keep being... underwhelmed.
I'm upping this to three stars because I felt it was a lot better than 'Brown Girl in the Ring,' which I gave two. But I still didn't love it. However, the language (and use of dialect) here felt much smoother; there was a more polished, professional feel to this book.

A young girl Tan-Tan, lives on a planet colonized by Caribbean immigrants. People live in luxury, with technology to take care of all manual labor.
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Zach
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
An excellent example of science fiction not centered on (or featuring any examples of) a Europe-descended culture, but rather on a planet colonized by people of the Caribbean. The whole thing is written in patwah, too, which does a great job of immersing the reader in Hopkinson's world.

Planets plural, rather, because the central conceit of this novel is some sort of mumbo-jumbo about criminals from the technologically advanced world of Toussaint being banished to its alternate dimension analogue
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Megan Baxter
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Which is a long way to go to come to Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber. It's the second of her books I've read, and feels like a later book, in that while I enjoyed Brown Girl in the Ring, this feels stronger, more defined. It keeps what I liked and develops her style further. And specifically, it gives me a very rare SF glimpse into the worlds that could be imagined when you don't have a white person in sight - and why wouldn't I want to see what Hopkinson would do with that? I like being a litt ...more
Margaret
Midnight Robber is a Caribbean, carnival, multi-dimensional travel, space science fiction novel that deals with abuse, rape, marginalization, colonization, and othering. Seem like a lot? It really is.

A young Tan-Tan pretends she's the Robber Queen--a carnival rogue--on a planet colonized by Caribbean immigrants. But when her father the mayor gets in trouble with the law, both of them are forced into exile on a multidimensional ship that takes them to place very different than the one Tan-Tan kn
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Jalilah
It would take a favourite writer like Nalo Hopkinson to get me to read and actually enjoy science fiction. There is a first time for everything! It helps when the planet resembles Jamaica and everyone there speaks in creole!
lauraღ
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the most important books I'll ever read. I love science fiction as a genre because it's a way to escape, and this story did that for me while making me feel closer to home, more than ever. I think I also just read this at the very right time that I needed to. Another time all the beat down Tan-Tan get beat down might have sour me too much to enjoy it properly, but by the end of the book, I couldn't vex. I just felt strong, and good. It feels good to have so many familiar things c ...more
jocelyn
4.5 stars

This book is damn near perfect and I loved every minute of it. RTC
Devann
While there were a lot of really cool things about this book, I think that ultimately I just had a hard time getting into it and it didn't really turn out to be what I wanted at the time.

I absolutely love the world building here, but once you combine new sci-fi concepts and terms with the heavy Afro-Caribbean dialect it all becomes a bit much to process at times. I will say that if you are having trouble with the dialect I would recommend switching to the audio book, which I did once I got abou
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Kirstine
At first this book was everything I'd expected. It was a brilliant, fantastical blend of science-fiction, magic and a Caribbean atmosphere. It had carnivals, costumes, streets full of laughter, dancing as the planet of Toussaint celebrate a festival. And it's all in a society so advanced that everyone has an AI built into their brain, and all work has been taken over by robots; it's a world of complete inter connectivity and leisure (for some). At the heart of it is the young girl Tan-Tan and he ...more
Rocktopus
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like everyone else said, Hopkinson's world-building is great. I love that her world-building is used as a political discussion. From the start, when Granny Nanny's nano-level-networked-super-surveillance world is described via Antonio's pedicab ride, I had hoped that Tan-tan would escape Toussaint. And when she does, I certainly didn't like how the society in Half-way Tree - Toussaint's literal alternative - plays out. Hopkinson brings up a whole new set of social problems / questions when Tan-t ...more
Sarah
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is difficult to rate. It was on the dark side and bit difficult to stomach at times. There is a definite potential for trigger related issues, which I'm going to put in a spoiler real quick. (view spoiler) It's also a very odd book and I started to get frustrated because I was enduring all of this terrible stuff and it really didn't seem to have a point. Until the end, and the end ha ...more
Viv JM
Amazing world-building, interesting blend of science fiction and mythology, and a powerful tale of survival. I loved this book. I would especially recommend the audio version, narrated by Robin Miles - it really helped with the Creole patois that this is written in.
Christy
Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber is science fiction that doesn't feel like science fiction. It is steeped in science fiction traditions, as the narrative takes place in a future where humans live on and have colonized a different planet (Toussaint), rely heavily on nanotechnology, and have the use of transdimensional and space travel technologies; even when the highly technologized world of Toussaint is abandoned for New Half Way Tree, a more primitive and less technologically advanced version o ...more
Amber Dunten
The Language
I think very few people will be lukewarm about the way Midnight Robber is written. All of the dialogue is in a pidgin English sometimes referred to in the story as “Anglo-patwa” or just “patwa” (aka patois). Some examples of what it's like:

“But I guess you is big mayor, you could get that hole fill up in no time, ain't?”
“But then we start to think; if we putting we trust in only you, what kind of guarantee that go give we?”
“Tan-Tan, you daddy vex with me; he vex bad.”

Meanwhile, the
...more
Parallel Worlds
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Intended Audience: Adult

Sexual content: Explicit

Ace/Genderqueer characters: Yes (A.I.)

Rating: R for sexual violence, language, and other violence

Writing style: 4/5

Likable characters: 4/5

Plot/Concepts: 4/5

Tan-Tan, daughter of Antonio, the mayor of Cockpit County, lived a fairly pampered life. That is, until her parents’ games of infidelity went too far and Antonio was banished for cheating in a duel with his wife’s illicit lover. At first she was glad he’d come back to take her with him on this n
...more
Mike
Seasonal Reading Challenge Fall 2018
20.5 - Cat's task: Bookish Quidditch:
Option 3. Beater, Part C: almost FRIGGATRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
Now, there is an “H” for “Hopkinson” in “FRIGGA…PHOBIA”, but there is no “N” for “Nalo", although ther is the next letter -- "O"
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Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born writer and editor who lives in Canada. Her science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling.

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