BINTI | Book Review by Weird Fantasy & Speculative Fiction Author Ted Fauster

BINTI by Nnedi Okorafor

BINTI
by Nnedi Okorafor

A review by weird fantasy & speculative fiction author Ted Fauster


HARRY POTTER IN SPACE!

I absolutely loved this novella!

Binti, a tech genius and member of the future Earth tribe Himba, is the first of her community to be accepted into a prestigious but far away university. Her parents do not wish her to attend, so she runs away to board the shuttle.

MILD SPOILER FOLLOWS!

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Once in transit, the spacecraft is quickly overrun by a strange alien race. Everyone aboard is killed, except for the pilot and Binti, who seems to be protected by a rare piece of ancient technology she has brought with her–the edan. Binti very quickly learns the edan contains both the power to repel and defend against the bizarre Meduse. In addition, she can use it to communicate with one of her captors and a weird sort of relationship is born.

The subsequent story that unfolds is energetic, palpable and intriguing. What I admire most, however, is the poetically tumbling language. Binti is speculative lit at its finest, a well-rounded cultural tone in a wildly imagined and futuristic scenario that pits two conflicting cultures against one another.

In this first novella of a now blockbuster series, Okorafor has crafted a powerful yet humbled character who is tested far beyond her comfort zone. The writing is rich and transformative. I felt as if I had become this young space traveler, and at times it felt as if my heart would pound out of my chest!

The rest of the BINTI series is definitely on my winter reading list. I eagerly look forward to continuing the story.

Ted Fauster

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