Last month, I gave you a glimpse at Akata Witch along with some fashion inspirations from the first book of this Nigerian fantasy series. Today, I am thrilled to return to this world with a review of the newly released Akata Warrior as part of the BLOG TOUR. If I wasn’t already thrilled to share this book with the world, last week, Nnedi announced there will be a THIRD book in the series, so WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??
ABOUT THE BOOK
A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.
Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.
Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death. Nnedi’s books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa. She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. She can be contacted via her website, www.nnedi.com.
Overall: You may have heard this series described as a Nigerian Harry Potter and after reading the second book in the series, I would say that that comparison is extremely well-warranted. I would go so far as to say that Nnedi’s world building and character development is more complex, rules-based, diverse and rich than that which Rowling created. Also, it is marketed as middle grade, but even though Sunny is 12 in Akata Witch and 13 in this novel, the books are written at the higher end of the MG age range, spanning into YA.
This book begins with an introductory warning letter from the Obi Library Collective of Leopard Knocks Department of Responsibility to Lambs. It serves a wonderful purpose–to refresh you to the Leopard Society world and vocabulary that you learned and read about in Akata Witch. This is a trend now in Fantasy, but this letter is definitely one of the more creative ways to give a quick summary I think I’ve seen. I guess you could read this book as a stand-alone, as this introduction gives you enough background to go on, but I would advise against you missing on all the detailed world and rule-building Nnedi set up in Akata Witch, where Sunny discovery of the Leopard Society and her powers.
Akata Warrior is definitely a book of exploration for Sunny Nwazue. The Leopard Society world, the rules, the friendships, Sunny’s relationship with her mentor, Sugar Cream are all examined in depth. Sunny now knows she is a Leopard Person and is committed to learning and exploring her powers. Her nightmares are haunting her and she is trying to find the reasons why. All of this makes for a slower-paced book for the first two thirds with an action-packed third act that really pays off. Okorafor also leaves us wanting more in the world in the end.
Judge a Book by its Cover: I can honestly say that once the Akata Witch cover was re-designed, I was absolutely sold on this series. Just look at these two cover side-by-side and try to tell me you would walk by the beauty, the representation, the mystique, the insects and symbols. These covers do nothing but draw you in.
Audiobook Narration: I was a bit disappointed to find that this book is not yet available via audiobook. However, I am hoping that as the popularity of the series increases, the financial decision to create an audiobook is made and we can add this book to our Audible library.
The Chosen One: Sunny is a girl coming into her own–from her body to her magical powers. She and her story have all the markings of a Chosen One narrative, as Joseph Campbell describes in The Hero’s Adventure, the first of his six interviews with Bill Moyers called The Power of Myth.
Don’t Believe the Hype: I don’t mind stating this multiple times, PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND START READING THIS SERIES. The hype is real, but this book contains the goods to back it up.
Open tab/Last call: Sprite? Fanta? Bitters? Shapman is the perfect blend of American-based ingredients in the most popular Nigerian drink that I will have ready for Nnedi should she care to join me at the bar.
Click the link below and enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on October 2, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 20, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 23, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Week One:October 2 – NovelKnightOctober 3 – Alexa Loves BooksOctober 4 – Bibliophile Gathering – ReviewOctober 5 – Dazzled by BooksOctober 6 – YA and Wine – Review & Favorite QuotesWeek Two:October 9 – MuggleNet – ReviewOctober 10 – Wandering Bark BooksOctober 11 – YA Wednesdays – ReviewOctober 12 – Here’s to Happy EndingsOctober 13 – What Sarah ReadWeek Three:October 16 – Books 4 Your KidsOctober 17 – The Children’s Book Review – Author Q&AOctober 18 – The Book WarsOctober 19 – AfroBoricua Reads – ReviewOctober 20 – Hollywood News Source – Playlist