Book Title: Binti
Series: Binti (#1)
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Goodreads Link: Click here
Release Date: 9/22/15
Star Rating: – Extraordinary!
I think I’ve found a new favorite.
This will be very short review. Binti is a novella, and since I don’t want to spoil anything about this wonderful story I’m going to keep it brief. Here is the back cover synopsis …
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.
This is sci-fi at it’s best, IMO. It is described as a coming of age story, and for the most part that is a turn-off for me. I usually find coming of age stories boring. They are focused on the romantic … a young woman comes of age in terms of her attraction to and for the opposite sex, and so many books and movies have been there, done that. As such it feels like those stories focus not as much on the main character but on how she relates to other people. Binti is not so mundane.
Firstly, the book is wholly Binti. She is a resourceful and brilliant young woman who is leaving home for the first time. Her mathematical abilities are unmatched and she has been accepted to a prestigious school on a different planet. Her coming of age focuses on that journey, her sense of self, and her attachment to her culture and family traditions. How is she able to reconcile her desire to experience the universe and challenge her mind with her need to remain attached to her land and people?
I simply loved Binti. The author is able to create this gem of a character in just 90 short pages and it is a remarkable feat. I can’t wait to read the other novellas in this series. There is a hardcover edition coming out in July. If I can get my hands on a signed copy, oh that will be a happy birthday to me! I fully recommend this book. It’s a jewel.