Binti: The Night Masquerade

April 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, )

masqueradeBinti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

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Binti has been through a lot over the course of her short trilogy. She’s witnessed a brutal mass slaughter on a spaceship, befriended one of the creatures who participated in the slaughter, and then returned home to Earth and her family, only to be ostracized for that friendship and for the transformation she experienced. In The Night Masquerade, she witnesses the continuation of a war she thought concluded. Like most wars, the people she sees menaced most by the war are her family — by blood and otherwise.

I’ve enjoyed this series, but I did myself a disservice by not reading them together at the same time. I lost details between books, and while Okorafor brings those stories back to us, I felt like I was missing too much for too long. This volume doesn’t feel as impactful as either of the first two books in the series did, either because it doesn’t resonate as much with me, or because I’ve forgotten important chunks of the story. It doesn’t help that the author chooses to go from first-person for two-and-a-half books, only to jump out to a third person omniscient voice at the critical point in the story. I can’t see how she could have avoided that jump, but it still feels sloppy. It always does when authors make such a big narrative jump like that.

Still, I rate this book is 3.5 stars, rounded up to four because Okorafor’s language and themes are so significant. I’m interested in reading more by the author, since this brief series has such an impact for so few pages. I would love to see what she can do when given the freedom of a full-length novel.

Started: January 19, 2018
Finished: January 21, 2018

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