Posted By onefinemess on March 4, 2014
by: Nnedi Okorafor
“Most books say hello and hold the door open for you.
This one punches you in the face. But the door is still open.”
Yes, I’m plagiarizing my own Goodreads status update. That was my first impression. It holds true throughout.
This was a good book.
It made the desert feel full of life (and violence, and death!) and interesting. Not since Dune has a desert been so interesting! OK, that’s kind of sideways praise since I haven’t read many books set in the desert since Dune… but still. What I’m getting at is Okorafor made her desert world vibrant. Gripping. That kind of thing. No idea why I started with that point. The big desert shot on the cover, I guess. I usually hate photo-realistic covers, but this one works. It’s not stupid or cheesy and, although it does the ‘fantasy overlain on top of the real’ bit… I dunno, it just works. Somehow the desert makes it both real and fantastic.
This is a fantasy in every sense of the world, although post apocalyptic. You know, like Saberhagen’s Ardneh books. (YES. EVERY POST APOCALYPTIC FANTASY REMINDS ME OF ARDNEH. IT’S OK. TAKE A DEEP BREATH.) The magic is bigger than life, painful, mysterious and out of reach. The characters are human in every aspect of the word. Luyu :( Well, hell, lots of :( actually, but Luyu :( too.
The ending is kind of a [SPOILER] but, I mean – they earned it, RIGHT? I really think they did. And it’s not like it wasn’t set up properly.
I don’t have much else to say. If you like fantasy and mystery and magic – and confronting both real and fantastical evil – Well. Books. Check ‘em out.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS
I think the only complaint that I have is that I would have… been more satisfied if the final confrontation with Daib had played out differently… but what had to happen happened. And satisfaction is not always what you really need. Dig?
OK, wait. Here’s another complaint: it was too short. Like ~400 pages. 650 would have been good! <.< Greedy, I know.