Book Review: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Title: Binti
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Genre: Science Fiction
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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

My Thoughts

Binti was really outside of my comfort zone. I don’t read much of science fiction and I also didn’t have much chance to read culturally diverse books. So, I didn’t really know what to expect with this novella.

The novella started out pretty great to me. I love how her culture was described. The author was really able to bring Binti’s culture to life. It’s very refreshing for me to read about it. However, I think the novella extremely lacked in terms of the science fiction aspect. I kinda attribute it to the story’s shortness. There’s really not much time to elaborate on anything or solidify the world building. It kinda felt like I was rushing through the story and I wasn’t given the chance to take it in.

There wasn’t really much to the characters too. Binti, the main character, is the only character that seems developed. Although, Okwu is quite interesting too.

Also, the only interesting part was the beginning and it was really hard to keep myself interested as I read on. There wasn’t much happening towards the end, the novella just dragged on.

Overall, I like the glimpses on another’s culture but I won’t really recommend this novella. There’s not enough science fiction and the characters aren’t very interesting either.



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