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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor Book Review

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Binti by Nnedi Okorafor book cover
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Book Review for Binti

As one of the Himba people, Binti carries a piece of her homeland with her in the form of clay. Covering her body and hair, the clay is a steadfast reminder of her culture and heritage. As Binti makes her way to the University transport, she will face scorn due to her appearance. Yet she is wise and does not give in to social pressure. Binti is an enriching character, staying true to herself and her beliefs despite the opposition she faces.

But this is where the worldbuilding of Binti’s people ends. Readers are told her family will disown her for leaving the planet, and aside from what she carries on her person, their culture isn't expanded on. There are many moments in Binti where only the surface explanation is given. When Binti begins to form friendships it is told to the reader rather than shown. The connection is not formed quickly enough for the events of the books to emotionally impact the reader.

When Binti faces the Meduse, the story picks up speed and adds an almost horror like quality to the writing. The trauma she endures is told to the reader, and Binti’s reactions are shown, yet the emotional side is not apparent. Physically Binti reacts terrified and lost, but readers are not allowed deep enough into Binti’s thoughts to experience it.

Binti is a quick reading novella with both horror and sci-fi elements. This is a book for readers who enjoy plot development and fast-moving scenes.

To Purchase: Bookshop | Author's Website

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