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Olympic read #3

 

Book/s The Akata Witch

Author/s Nnedi Okarafor

Publisher  Viking

Genre- YA Fantasy

Format Hard Cover

Accessibility of format It has a beautiful cover and the type face was fairly good, smallish but dark

Other formats available Amazon UK appears only to have it in hardback.  There seems to be no kindle edition. It seems the same on Amazon.com .  As far as, I can see Book Depositary is the same, having only hardback editions.  But, Goodreads states that there is a kindle edition.  So, I may have missed it

Where did I get this book? Amazon.co.uk

Date read 19th -20th   June 2012

Rating – 5 star

Why I read?  This book has been on my TBR list for some time.   And it is, therefore, part of my Olympic read- a plan that will see me reading my TBR list, in an effort to avoid this summer of sport.  In addition, I read the authors later work with ‘who fears death’ with pleasure and so I was glad to read it.

Gut Feeling I was looking forward to reading this book for a long time and I was not disappointed.   The story is enthralling. The pace of the story makes it an enjoyable read and keeps the reader’s interest.    At the same time however, it lingers on certain aspects of the story long enough to draw the reader’s attention to its key issues.   It is an excellent read.

Summary/plot arc at the beginning of the novel Sunny, our main character, has just moved from New York to Nigeria.  We soon find that she is finding it difficult to fit in to her new school and that she is not her father’s favourite.  However, things soon improve as she makes friends with a group of people who live around her house.  With their help, she manages to find a sense of belonging and her own magical powers. She connects with a loosely connected tribe of individuals who have powers similar to her own.  This group have formed a sort of informal school, or university, in which an individual progresses by gaining knowledge.    In a side story we are told of a murderer who is killing young children.  Gradually, the two stories converge and Sunny, and her friends, must face a dangerous new challenge.

World building the world is excellently drawn and evocative. It really places the reader in the story. I do not know Nigeria.  But, this world seemed believable to me.  The author really knows this world and makes you feel that you do too.   The villages, towns, magical locations and markets all have a sense of reality about them.

 

 

Characters all the characters are well sketched.  Sunny and her friends are believable, interesting and likeable..   The characters help create an inviting, unnerving and enticing world.

Themes This book, while being a really good story, explores some really interesting themes. Firstly, the theme of identity runs throughout the work. For example, Sunny must learn to accept her identity and use it to save herself and those who she loves.  Belonging is another theme.  Sunny gradually finds a sense of belonging with the aid of her friends.  Another theme explored can be summarised in the question “what should we, as humans, truly value? Should we value money or knowledge?”  Sunny is told that, while ‘normal’ humans value money and possessions, her tribe (those with magical powers value knowledge.

Conclusion This is an excellent read and I would recommend it to young people and adults alike. It makes an excellent stand-alone read.  But, I am excited to learn that another book in this series is coming soon.

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