Rating: 3 stars
Buddy read with Nana
This gave me flashbacks to a college class I took in high school about popular literature, where the focus of that quarter was science fiction. There was an unexpected emphasis on afrofuturism and I feel like my hippie teacher would have loved Binti.
I didn’t really love it though.
It wasn’t bad, by any means, it just could have been so much more. I see the point Okorafor was trying to make, it’s just that she repeated the point so many times that I got a little sick of it, and considering how short the book is, it was all a bit much. The writing wasn’t my favorite, either. A lot of time was spent establishing Binti as different, when I pretty much got the idea at the very beginning. I also didn’t understand how quickly she accepted the aliens, especially because they’d literally traumatized her for life. It was a refreshing perspective, but the psychology behind it wasn’t explored enough to make it reasonable to me.
And considering how short this was, it felt like it had like 5 fake-out endings before it finally did end, so by the time the last page came, I was expecting it to just keep going. The ending I got felt a little jarring in comparison. The writing style just wasn’t my cup of tea, either, but I tend to prefer a more pretentious style and this was very matter of fact. It just left something to be desired in the atmosphere and vibe department. Besides the super special and magical mud mixture and the jellyfish people, I didn’t have a clear view of what anything looked like. It made the already iffy pacing feel even more confusing.
Ultimately, this wasn’t as good as I’d hoped but I liked it enough. For a science fiction book, it wasn’t as dense as I’d expected which was a pleasant surprise. I don’t think I’ll continue the series but I’m glad I know what this is about now.
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