American actor and producer Omar Epps is stepping into the world of fiction, and his debut novel centers characters from an African utopia. The book is titled Nubia: The Awakening and will be published by Delacorte Press this November.

Omar Epps is an actor famous for his roles in popular 90’s & 2000’s films like Love & Basketball, The Wood, and Juice. In later years, he won numerous awards for his role as Dr. Eric Foreman on the TV series House and most recently starred in 2020 psychological thriller Fatal Affair.

Nubia: The Awakening follows three teens, “the children of refugees from a fallen African utopia, who develop powers they must use to navigate a climate-ravaged New York City.” The book will be coauthored with Clarence Haynes, a writer and content manager who focuses on arts, culture and history. 

On TrendyAfrica, Samantha Ofole-Prince quotes some of Epps initial inspiration for the book series

The idea for this book came to me over ten years ago…It started with an idea based around the actuality of love. That evolved into a story about unity, and the beauty of a world where every person’s differences are not only unique but serve a purpose. I’m very proud of how it turned out and cannot wait to finally share it with the world.

The novel has been compared to Black Panther and Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. We look forward to exploring Epps’ representation of a utopian African world, in contrast to New York City as post-apocalyptic space. We are also excited about the kinds of Africa-Black Diaspora relationships that will anchor the story. Stay tuned for more information and reviews!

Read the full synopsis below and see preorder options:

“For Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho, Nubia is a mystery. Before they were born, a massive storm destroyed their ancestral homeland, forcing their families to flee across the ocean to New York City. Nubia, a utopic island nation off the coast of West Africa, was no more, and their parents’ sorrow was too deep for them to share much of their history beyond the folklore. But New York, ravaged by climate change and class division, is far from a safe haven for refugees, and Nubians live as outcasts, struggling to survive in the constantly flooding lower half of Manhattan, while the rich thrive in the tech-driven sky city known as the Up High. To many, being Nubian means you’re fated for a life plagued by difficulties and disrespect. But Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho are beginning to feel there might be more. Something within them is changing, giving each of them extraordinary powers. Extraordinary and terrifying powers that seem to be tied to the secrets their parents have kept from them. And there are people Up High watching, eager to do anything they can to become even more powerful than they already are. Now Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho will be faced with the choice—do they use their inheritance to lift their people, or to leave them behind. The fate of their city, and their people, hangs in the balance.”

Preorder Nubia: The Awakening: Amazon |