Upper World - Femi Fadugba

Upper World

'Wow! The Upper World is a time-twisting, mind-bending thrill ride' - Holly Jackson, author of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

'A superbly original debut' - Guardian

'This book is impossible to put down' - The Independent

'A rollercoaster of a story . Les mer
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'Wow! The Upper World is a time-twisting, mind-bending thrill ride' - Holly Jackson, author of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

'A superbly original debut' - Guardian

'This book is impossible to put down' - The Independent

'A rollercoaster of a story . . . Orangeboy with an Inception-style twist.' - Kat Ellis


Prepare to stop time with this extraordinary debut about two teenagers bound by fate and time, with the scope of a Christopher Nolan epic.

Esso is running out of time and into trouble. When he discovers he has the ability to see glimpses of the future, he becomes haunted by a vision of a bullet fired in an alleyway with devastating consequences.

A generation later, fifteen-year-old Rhia is desperately searching for answers - and a catastrophic moment from the past holds the key to understanding the parents she never got to meet.

Whether on the roads of South London or in the mysterious Upper World, Esso and Rhia's fates must collide.

And when they do, a race against the clock will become a race against time itself . . .


'Ambitious and highly addictive' - The Bookseller

'This is a book I will return to time and time again' - Caleb Femi

'So happy this exists' - Daniel Kaluuya, Academy Award-winning actor


A superbly original debut, written with extraordinary ambition and panache . . . effortlessly blends theoretical physics with all-too-human tragedy.



«A sci-fi drama that captures the value of self-belief . . . The voices of Esso and Rhia, both smart and curious, are rich in slang and details of the lives and friendships of black teenagers, and their tale unfolds suspensefully, with emotion and writerly skill»

The Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week

«For days after reading [The Upper World], I was left with what I can only describe as an electricity surging through my spirit. Fadugba is an impeccable weaver of universes and this is a book I will return to time and time again.»

Caleb Femi

«The Upper World is an astoundingly impressive debut. Thought-provoking, thrilling, funny, and brilliant in every sense of the word.»

Katherine Webber

«The Upper World took everything I thought I knew about physics, time, space, and energy, and twisted it into a new, electrifying story that I couldn't put down!»

Brittney Morris

«I think what I love most about this brilliant book is how it creates a few mini worlds (Esso's, Rhia's, the Upper World) and brings them all together in a beautiful dance. The Upper World by Femi Fadugba made me laugh, made me feel. I loved Esso and Rhia's wry observations.»

Mary Watson, author of The Wren Hunt

«A mind-bending thriller that takes you to modern-day London and then twists reality back in on itself. Tenet has nothing on The Upper World

Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Truly Devious series


An audacious blend of quantum physics, Ancient Greek philosophy and south London gang culture, The Upper World is a blistering, ferocious science fiction story that asks, what we would change if we could, and what would happen if we couldn't? Make some room at the table, Doctor Who - there's a new time-travelling hero in town.


Melinda Salisbury

«'A startlingly original thriller . . . one of the most compelling debuts of the year'»

The Observer

«Wow! The Upper World is a time-twisting, mind-bending thrill ride. I raced through the pages trying to keep up with Esso and Rhia - if I could read at the speed of light, I would have! This south London epic will stay with you long after the final page.»

Holly Jackson

«Older teens will be blown away by The Upper World, Femi Fadugba's mind-bending sci-fi debut . . . the story brims with tension and emotion thanks to the authentic, relatable characters.»

The Scotsman

«To have a book that marries real London life, time travel and relativity in an illuminating and entertaining way is stuff I used to dream about. I had The Upper World in my hands until I finished it. So happy this exists.»

Academy Award winner Daniel Kaluuya

«A rollercoaster of a story, like Patrice Lawrence's Orangeboy with an Inception-style twist. Exhilarating and exceptional!»

Kat Ellis


This compelling thriller is set on the streets of South East London, a place author Femi Fadugba knows very well . . . once Esso and Rhia's stories start to unfold, this book is impossible to put down. One to read before it's adapted into a Netflix film starring Daniel Kaluuya.


The Independent, Children's Book of the Week

«Truly mind-bending, fiendishly clever, original and stylish - I was blown away by this novel. Philosophy meets physics meets Peckham . . . No doubt about it, The Upper World is destined to stand the test of time.»

Amy McCulloch

«[An] ambitious and highly addictive sci-fi thriller . . . The theory of relativity and time-travel science may drive the incredibly tense and compelling plot, but it is Fadugba's skill in weaving this around complex characters and a very powerful human story that makes The Upper World so special.»

Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

«A thrilling, electric book - so sharp and quick, so witty and wise it leaves you gasping.»

Katherine Rundell
Femi Fadugba has a Master's degree from Oxford University where he published in Quantum Physics and subsequently studied as a Thouron Scholar at University of Pennsylvania. Femi has worked as a science tutor as well in solar energy and consulting. He currently lives between Peckham, London and Baltimore, USA. THE UPPER WORLD is his first book.