Binti is more of a novella than a novel. The story was over as soon as I felt comfortable in the world. It is an amazing world based on African culture in relation to human culture in relation to alien culture. The interplay between cultures is worthy of a thesis.
What really gripped me is how Okorafor was able to draw the reader in, even a reader with no familiarity with African culture, to the heritage of Binti. It started with the very first line of the story. Then through simple narration the reader learned of an important culture and a futuristic Earth without once having to actually be told about it. The storytelling is genius.
My one critique is that I wish the Meduse were described in more depth, especially given their importance. The story focuses on Binti so much that the Meduse are more of an abstract entity that by the time I realize their importance I have either lost all appropriate descriptions or they were never there.
I will, without a doubt, be finishing this series.
I was extremely excited to read Children of Blood and Bones. I have heard about it everywhere, and waited months to receive the book from the library. That is a lot of pressure to put on a book, yet I believe Children of Blood and Bones lived up to all the hype.
There are two main things about this book that I absolutely love. The first is the cultural aspect. Fantasy novels are not all that diverse, and it is exciting to see this changing. Society will not change until it becomes normal to see diversity, and I am excited that literature is paving the way. This book is the best of current fantasy and fiction in general.
In the same way this book encompasses everything that I loved about fantasy novels growing up. There is a band of travelers going through obstacles to complete a quest that will save the world. It has been too long since I have read a good epic fantasy, this is an amazing epic fantasy.
That is what I love about this book. It is a fusion of new literature while still staying true to the roots. It truly is a masterpiece.
Added to all of that there is beautiful writing, complex and dynamic characters, and an amazing magical system. I am anxiously anticipating, like the rest of the world, the sequel.
On top of all of this there is an afterword by the author where she speaks about why she wrote this book. I think it was as emotionally impactful as the entire book. If you have not picked this book up yet, do. It is worth it.
I cannot remember why I added this book to my long to be read pile, all I know is that I am so glad that I did. This book is powerful in a way that so few books are able to achieve. It is a fictional account of two sisters who found their voice to fight against slavery. In the process they found they also had to fight for the right to fight and unintentionally helped found the feminist movement.
This book is historical in nature. Yet, the themes that it represents are still needed in our current day. Slavery may be outlawed, but African Americans have the police called on them just for being black. Women are 'equal,' except we still receive lower pay, less opportunity, and still must fight for a voice.
The Invention of Wings is also about the personal struggle to find one's place in the world. It is about the struggle with God. It is about what it means to be human. It is about accepting others, despite their difference from yourself.
The writing is beautiful. The characters are brilliant. I am left wondering how I have not read Sue Monk Kidd before now, yet grateful that I have started.
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