Book Review: Binti - Nnedi Okorafor


Three book covers featuring a young African woman painting her face with clay. Binti is an absolute treat. I've not read much Afro-Futurism, but what I have has been truly excellent and entertaining.

What is it like to try to honour your ancestors while feeling the call for adventure? It's a topic which has been explored ad infinitum but rarely with such passion. Why do old men fear powerful young women? Binti isn't Buffy - she's a much more complex cipher for a million people trapped between tradition and the future.

Okorafor has taken the basic hero's journey and overlayed it with a handful of myths and legends - most of which I'm ignorant of. It creates a swirling miasma of a story, rich with subtext, and quite beautiful at times. She has a rare talent for making aliens something more than thinly veiled allegories for human.

Because Binti was originally released as a series of novellas, the pacing of the story is a little uneven when read as a single trilogy. But it is still a wonderful story.


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