Ukwaluka is an ancient circumcision ritual for young men still widely practiced by the Xhosa in South Africa. It marks the transition from youth to manhood. A boy who has just undergone circumcision sits in semi-darkness in a simple hut on a hill, far away from the village, as prescribed by the initiation ritual. He is covered from head to toe with a paint made from clay which makes him look as white as a goat. This should be a period of healing, but he is cold and in pain. His grandfather, who is supposed to induct him into his new life, has not yet appeared. According to the belief system of the Xhosa, Ukwaluka also purges the boy from homosexual desires, for which there is no place in the world of adults.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, young Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they're all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow "runners" for a shot at escape.
A thriller set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city's history, and centered on a the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.
Immediately after the events of The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo and the dwarves try to defend Erebor's mountain of treasure from others who claim it: the men of the ruined Laketown and the elves of Mirkwood.