Book Review: Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor


Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
My rating: 🌟🌟 (2 stars)
Publisher: Tor

I'm going to be an outlier to book world here but no apologies.



Having languished on my TBR for far too long, I've finally joined the masses and read this much acclaimed story! Binti and the world she inhabits were interesting enough but this didn't thrill me or make me feel like I was reading something, unlike anything I've ever read before. The themes presented are worthy but the execution is so flat, it does them a disservice. I've read novellas that have capitalized on big ideas, so it's not the short form here that hinders it. Worse, there's no hint of any followup on all the murdered teens that Binti claims are her friends. That whole terrible business just evaporates and I can only imagine that no one in Binti's world cares and the reader isn't supposed to give it a second thought either on the express flight to Peace. In short, I found that absurd and it pulled the narrative down another notch. Perhaps I expected too much based on so many rave reviews.

Still, there were some memorable sentences and moments that made me smile and want to remember. Also, I'd definitely classify this fantasy, not science fiction. I enjoyed reading this to an extent but I'm on not on fire to read the remaining novellas. All things being equal, I'd have rather Heru lived and Binti got to talk to the boy who saw math and code in her braids.

Summary: 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.

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