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Why You Need to Read: “The Legacy of Molly Southbourne”

Molly Southbourne, #3: The Legacy of Molly Southbourne

By: Tade Thompson

Published: May 17, 2022

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller, Sequel

WARNING: There are spoilers from both The Murders of Molly Southbourne and The Survival of Molly Southbourne in this review. You have been warned.

            There was once a girl called Molly who made people when she bled. People like you and me. Those people always tried to kill her, so she killed them, sometimes out of self-defense, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes for sport even. Most of those people were made by accident. I was not, (Fifteen). 

            I will admit something about myself. To me many “plot twists” are not that “shocking” because there are (several) moments of foreshadowing which hints at what can be expected to happen. Then, there are times when I can be shocked about a plot twist because I was misled by the narrative similar to the rest of the audience. Tade Thompson’s Molly Southbourne trilogy is an excellent balance of speculative fiction and thriller for an entertaining, yet disturbing, read. The Legacy of Molly Southbourne beings this series to a conclusion that seizes your attention from start to finish.

            The story introduces us to a woman named Myke, the first protagonist. It becomes known fairly quickly that Myke used to work for the organization that dealt with the “mollies.” In fact, at the beginning of the narrative, Myke is contacted and asked to track down a feral molly. Myke takes the job without hesitation because she hates the mollies and wants to exterminate them all. But why? The next protagonist is Tamara Koleosho—who is a Prime just as The Molly Southbourne was a Prime—has been keeping herself and her clones away from the organization who kept 2 mollies under guard. However, news of the feral molly reaches Tamara from the same organization, and they want Tamara and her clones to track “her” down. Tamara Prime must decide on who she wants to help: the mollies, or the organization that restricted their freedom. The last protagonist is the molly whom Molly Prime dubbed “Molly Southbourne.” She and the other surviving mollies—Moya, Ann and Molina—have built lives for themselves away from everyone who may or may not be after them. The mollies are seeing a therapist, Dr. Song Ling, privately who offers the “identical sisters” help with all of the “trauma” they’ve experienced. Although it’s just the 4 of them, each molly is “linked” to one another whether or not they want to be. So, when the mollies “sense” a feral one heading towards them, they are worried their “secret” will be revealed to those who continue to hunt them down. Myke, Tamara, and the mollies are tied to each other because of a feral molly. The audience is able to notice the complex relationship each protagonist(s) has for this molly. We learn more about each protagonist as they explain their reasons for going after the molly. Incredibly, they all have a valid reason for doing so.  

            The plot of this narrative occurs after an unknown amount of time has passed after the events in The Survival of Molly Southbourne. There is a new feral molly on the loose who is killing innocent civilians as she tracks down her “sisters.” Everyone is looking for this molly, but the surviving mollies attempt to lure her to them discreetly so that no harm comes to her and to themselves. At the same time, 2 different organizations want to capture a molly—preferable the feral one—alive, or dead, for reasons known only by them and the two individuals with ties to Molly Southbourne, Myke and Tamara. The subplot in this narrative focuses on Myke and her connections to the mollies. While it is obvious Myke knows A LOT about the mollies and both organizations who want them alive, Myke’s reasons for wanting them dead is both shocking and understandable. This subplot pushes the plot to move at a faster rate, leaving the audience with the question: what will happen when all of the parties face off?

            The narrative in The Legacy of Molly Southbourne is presented in the 1st person from the points-of-view of Molly, Tamara, and Myke (and a couple of minor characters). The sequence is presented in the present tense and told in real-time by the protagonists. This allows the audience to pick up on the urgency all of the characters are experiencing due to the events happening to them. There is a chapter in which the past and its ties to Molly Southbourne are revealed. Given this chapter is narrated from a very relevant individual—with their stream-of-consciousness rounding out their current emotions—the audience will know from that moment that all of the protagonists are reliable narrators with narratives that are engaging and flowing. 

            The style Tade Thompson uses for The Legacy of Molly Southbourne is a continuation of the sci-fi horror plot with a thriller narrative. In addition, the author was able to tie all of the plots from all 3 books within this trilogy near its shocking, yet believable conclusion. The word choice for each protagonist provides insight into their obvious feelings towards the dilemma they all face. The mood in this story is survival. All of the characters are trying to survive the latest encounter surrounding the feral molly. All of the parties involve want it to end for good, which means someone has to die. The tone in this story is fatigue. Going back to The Murders of Molly Southbourne, in that narrative there was at least one protagonist who got fed up with dealing with the mollies. All of the surviving parties have dealt with the mollies for decades with no end in sight. Back then, Molly Prime didn’t want to deal with it and now everyone else understands how she felt.

            The appeal for The Legacy of Molly Southbourne have been positive. The final novella in the Molly Southbournetrilogy was released recently, so not too many readers of the previous entries have read it yet. Fans of the previous books in this series and of similar sci-fi horror and thriller stories should read this book. The blending of the various genres works very well, and this series is an excellent addition to the speculative fiction canon. Fans of Alchemical Journeys by Seanan McGuire, The Locked Tomb series by Tamsyn Muir, and The Final Architecture trilogy by Adrian Tchaikovsky should read Tade Thompson’s sci-fi horror trilogy because they will enjoy it the most. 

            The Legacy of Molly Southbourne is a powerful conclusion to this trilogy. Tade Thompson not only provided endings for all of his characters, but also provided answers to the questions the audience did not know they had. If you have not read any of this author’s books yet, or you’re looking for a unique reading experience, then I strongly recommend you read this series. Just don’t bleed.

My Rating: MUST READ IT NOW (5 out of 5)!!!

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