“Martínez’ innovative techniques are crucial to Wake‘s success. Hall doesn’t just want to tell the parts of the story that are eminently drawable — daring, desperate women attacking slavers in the streets or chiseling through chains in the holds of the death ships. Those stories are here, and they’re gripping, but they make up only half of Hall’s saga. The other half is her own struggle against the conspiracy of silence that’s shut these women out of history. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve been searching for women warriors,” Hall reflects in the opening pages. “Pickings were slim.” That’s partly because of who was keeping the records: governments seeking to “set policy, maximize profits and avoid costly revolts,” she notes. As a result, she “must read the documents against the grain” to tease out scant bits of evidence about enslaved women’s experiences — “assuming there are any documents to be found at all.”” —Etelka Lehoczky has written about books for The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and The New York Times. She tweets at @EtelkaL.