Monday, July 25, 2016

Book Thoughts - Binti by Nnedi Okorafor


Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
published 2015
96 pages

Synopsis -

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive.

My thoughts -

This was a really interesting novella. I've tried to read Nnedi Okorafor's novels previously, and for whatever reason couldn't maintain interest long enough to make it past the first few chapters. This story, however, really hooked me in from the very beginning, and I finished the entire thing in a single afternoon.

I thought Binti's world was extremely well fleshed out for such a short work - I feel like I understand politics and beliefs that are often lost in must longer works of speculative fiction. I thought Binti as a character was fascinating, and the dilemmas she faced and worked through felt true and honest. I found the resolution to the story a bit abrupt, but am willing to give that a bit of leeway since this was a novella - obviously, the author didn't have much time for long, drawn-out scenes of hashing out problems.

I was uncertain of this author, but this story has made me a fan. I will definitely give her novels a try, and I can't wait for the next installment in Binti's world!

Finished - 6/29/16
Source - audiobook from South Side library
MPAA rating - PG-13 for some intense scences
My rating - 4/5

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