Book Review: Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Book: Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Published October 2017 by Viking Books For Young Readers|477 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Akata Witch #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book. 

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound.

I really liked this one!  I feel like I’ve read a few of her books recently, and I have a couple more on my shelf that I got from the library, so I’m definitely in a mood for Okorafor’s books.

I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I’ve read the first book, so I didn’t remember anything from Akata Witch.  Which was actually fine because I didn’t need to remember too much about it.  It doesn’t rely a lot on the first book, though it is a good idea to read that one first.

It was so nice to revisit this world, and I loved seeing what Sunny and her friends were up to.  I loved how she wanted to protect her brother, and even though it caused a lot of trouble for Sunny, I feel like her heart was in the right place.  I’m glad we got more of her family, and if there are more books in the series, I hope we get more with her family and how she has to balance that with being a Leopard Person.

I love how the details come together, and I love the balance between the magical world and the real world.  They’re balanced really well, and I love how they exist together.  They’re very different, of course, and I can’t imagine having to hide part of that from family, but overall, I think Sunny manages to fit in pretty well.

I loved revisiting this world, and it’s just as interesting as the world we saw in Akata Witch.  This book really adds to Sunny’s world, but I wish some things were talked about a little more.  Still, there’s more to Sunny’s world in this book, and it was nice to grow with Suny as she comes into her abilities a little more.

4 stars.  It took me a little time to get into it, and I think a lot of it is not having re-read the first book.  Still, I really liked it, and it was nice going back to Sunny’s world.

Book Review: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart CoverBook: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Published October 2010 (but originally published in 1958) by Anchor|224 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: The African Trilogy #1

Genre: Adult Fiction

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

Things Fall Apart was a book I was required to read back in high school, and I randomly decided to pick it up and read it again.  Even though I didn’t love it, I liked it more than I thought I would- and I definitely liked it a lot more as an adult than I did as a high school student.

I really liked seeing Okonkwo’s fall from grace, and how it was so tied to the change of the world that he knew. What your family did was really important (especially to Okonkwo), and he worked really hard for the success he had.  He didn’t want to be like his father, and he didn’t want his father’s life for his children, which I think is something we can all relate to in some way.

The writing was really simple, but in a good way.  It was very straightforward, and I really liked that, because I felt like Achebe got right to the point.  You really see how much European missionaries changed things, and I couldn’t help but wonder how much we’ve lost because of colonization.

Part of why I didn’t love it was because it was depressing.  Which makes sense, given everything Okonkwo experienced and went through, and all of the change that happened.  Okonkwo does have a code that he lives by, and even though I understand why he acts the way he does…it doesn’t mean it’s okay, but I do get it.  At the same time, though, he really must have felt like he was out of options.  And when you think about it in the context of colonization, and how people must have felt, knowing they probably had to assimilate, or else…I really felt for them, because things were fine, until they weren’t.

I did like that you saw how some of the British who came took into account their traditions and customs, and how some didn’t.  You also saw that some of the people from Okonkwo’s village welcomed the missionaries, and how others didn’t.  It was very much shades of grey in this book, and I liked that it was fairly neutral.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

3 stars.  I’m not sure what else to say about Things Fall Apart.  I definitely recommend it, because I think it’s an important story.  And I definitely appreciate it a lot more as an adult than I ever did in high school.