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Ratings and Book Reviews (40 562 star ratings
40 reviews

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 22 person found this review helpful

    22 people found this review helpful

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    Very good

    I found this to be a well written, interesting variation on a classic science fiction tale. Bright young prodigy is accepted to elite interstellar institution, gets on space ship to travel there, shenanigans ensue. This is a classic, old school SF tale. But Ms. Okorafor breathes new life into it, and turns it on it's head. It is both entertaining, and thought provoking at the same time. Quality adventure, but with examinations of things like race, class and colonialism . Award worthy in my opinion.
  • 16 person found this review helpful

    16 people found this review helpful

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    Science fantasy at its worst.

    If this book is a representative sample of the author’s writing style in imaginative fiction, then it is a complete mystery to me how she won so many awards. This book is poorly plotted with cardboard characters, who’s motivations are impenetrable to the reader. The main character could be interesting. A young woman who breaks away from an insular, African tribe, with social mores that would seem mildly repugnant to the rest of the world (they cover themselves with “magic mud” that must never be removed on pain of social excommunication). She is so different that she is essentially an alien on her own planet. However, the author then assigns her mental abilities that are never rationally explained, gives her a magic totem that allows her to communicate with aliens, and places her in a situation that is logically ridiculous. She then uses all her “magical” abilities to end an interplanetary war in a single afternoon, everybody sings kumbaya, and that’s it. Oh, and Binti is rewarded by being further alienated from her species - a fact that she treats with a “okay, so that happened” attitude. All the secondary characters are disposable cutouts. The plot is incredibly trite and overused. The aliens appear alien, but turn out to be anthropomorphic stone age tribesmen. The ending is ridiculously oversimplified. Don’t let the author’s awards fool you like they did me. Usually, I wouldn’t even finish a book of this low caliber, but I kept on to the end, thinking, “Surely this will improve.” It didn’t. Do not waste your time.
  • 9 person found this review helpful

    9 people found this review helpful

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    Very Innovative

    This story was recommended to me by someone in my book group who purchased it, read it and loved it. I also purchased it, read it, and also loved it. The basic story is that a teenage girl gets a full scholarship to study at an ultra-prestigious university on another planet. It is her first time off-planet and the trip to the university is far from smooth due to external factors. The author has taken an innovative approach to this basic story. The cover gives you a very good idea of the approach taken. It is soft science fiction with a bit of mysticism throw in. Well worth my time and money. Reads well. Award-worthy imo.
  • 9 person found this review helpful

    9 people found this review helpful

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    A Simple Story Told Well

    It is said that the hardest thing for a writer to do is to tell a simple story beautifully. Nnedi Okorafor does this beautifully. This isn't the story of a chosen one or anything cliche like that. It's simply the story of a young woman who wants to go to school. As in our world, her family and culture tell her what she should do and how she should do it. She defies them and follows her dreams which take her into the stars. Unfortunately, things don't go that well for her and she ends up in the middle of an interplanetary conflict.
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    Emotional, but lacking depth

    First half of the book I really enjoyed it, but second half was naive and disappointing really.

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