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Binti by Nnedi Okorafor eARC {4 Stars}

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is a sci-fi novella about a woman going to a university in space when usually none of her tribe ever leaves their home. This story combines beautiful inspiration from Nigerian culture with an alien first-encounter unlike any I’ve ever read. I am once again left wishing for a full novel or even a series about this world, but for now we must content ourselves with this glimpse

Note: I received an advanced copy of Binti from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor eARC {4 Stars}

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Published by Tor.com on Sept. 22nd, 2015
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 96 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • I have never read a sci-fi like this and was thrilled to encounter an entirely unique reading experience. Despite the spaceships and technological developments, this story didn’t ostracize me like a lot of ‘hard’ sci-fi can. I was completely captivated by Binti’s culture and her bravery in doing what no one in her tribe has ever done or approved of.
  • Binti is just such a fantastic main character. She’s one of those characters who I would really want to be friends with, but would assume is too cool to want to be friends with me, ha! She’s strong and brilliant and a huge nerd, but not afraid to stick to her cultural roots even as she leaves home.
  • I got the impression reading Binti that there are a lot of alien races that humans interact with, but the main ones that we get to know in this story are especially fascinating. I love it when aliens are so unlike humans that communication of any kind is nearly impossible and even when they can communicate, they are so different it is hard to find common ground. These aliens fit that bill perfectly.
  • I’m a new fangirl of Okorafor after reading this and The Book of Phoenix because wow can she write! It’s one thing to have such unique ideas to make refreshingly new sci-fi, but on top of that her writing paints the images and emotions of the characters clearly in your mind. I will read probably anything she writes at this point.

Weaknesses:

  • We get enough glimpses of technology in this novella for me to be really freaking intrigued, but not enough information for me to actually understand what most of it is for. This makes sense since Binti and everyone around her already knows it all, but gah I wanted to know more.
  • So something really horrible happens, and then there aren’t really any consequences for those who do said horrible thing. It’s not the main point of the plot, but it seems like a rather big hole for murder not to be, you know, punished in some way?

Summary:

Binti is a great sci-fi novella for when you want something really different in some ways, but still with spaceships and aliens. It’s also a good introduction to Okorafor’s writing and ideas, so if you like Binti, definitely check out The Book of Phoenix or her other books!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.

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