Book Review: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

(5/5 stars)  I’m not sure where I heard of Akata Witch; it was probably one of my podcasts. I was just excited to read a fantasy novel based on a magic system from a non-European mythology. I did not know it was a YA novel, though, and I was very delightfully surprised by what I found.

The story structure and plot aren’t exceptionally different from other stories of this sort: a young outsider learns that she has a destiny and finds camaraderie in a community of other outcasts.  But the characters are fun and interesting. The culture is lush and fascinating.  And the magic system is scary and fascinating.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book quite a lot. 

Book Review: The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

(3/5 stars) The Final Six is probably a better book than my star rating indicates. I just didn’t love it because it felt like a lot of build-up with little pay-off.  But I think that’s because I’m far less interested in the interpersonal relationships of young people than I am in space travel and the associated mysteries.  It’s a YA book, mind you. So, it feels a little wrong to evaluate it by standards that aren’t quite right for YA, but whatevs.

The basic premise of the book is that earth has been devastated by climate change and is becoming uninhabitable.  So, the various countries and space agencies around the world have teamed up to send a team of teenagers to Europa where they will begin terraforming the moon for human habitation.  The reason they pick teenagers is because they’re old enough to learn complicated things, but young enough to remain adaptable to all the things that the mission requires.  But there’s more to the mission that the teens are being told. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUNNNNN!

An interesting, if far-fetched premise, with characters that I liked pretty well.  The conflicts don’t build up high enough for my tastes and don’t pay off in the way I wanted.  But it’s good enough that I will probably pick up the next book at some point in hopes of getting more of that space travel goodness.

Book Review: The Giver

SUMMARY: (5 of 5 stars) I’d never even heard of this book until a friend mentioned it on Facebook as an example of dystopian fiction, but apparently all of my friends have and they loved it. I did not enjoy reading this book because it’s horrifying and painful to read, but it’s a good book and a very quick read.

It’s the story of a boy who is born into a society of near-perfect equality, but is assigned the role of “Receiver” for his community. And in training for his life’s work, he starts to understand all sorts of horrible things about life there.