Anwuli Okwudili has always been made to feel like she doesn’t belong. In the eyes of society, there’s too much about her that’s machine-powered, and consequently, not organic. So when she retaliates against a group of men who assaulted her, she accidentally ends up killing them, giving the government the perfect reason to hunt her down.
Nnedi Okorafor’s imagination knows no limit. Her worldbuilding possesses an intricacy that becomes apparent from the first chapter. From perennial storms, increased civilian monitoring to cybernetics, you’ll find a range of interesting ideas that breathe life into the plot.
A significant portion of the story is set against the backdrop of the vast deserts of Nigeria. I was really intrigued by how the author combined the visuals and the state of the environment in the narrative.
This sci-fi novel marks my foray into Afrofuturism, and I’m glad it is helmed by a character as adamant and outspoken as AO. One of the main reasons I was engrossed right from the get-go is how straightforward AO’s demeanour (and subsequently, her voice) is.
Regardless of the simplicity with which she approaches the events of her life and the underlying emotions that she experiences, AO doesn’t allow herself to be defined by any one thing or allow other’s perception to bring down her self-worth.
This novel is comparatively on the shorter side, one you can easily read in a couple of sittings. While AO being on the run certainly forms the foundation of the plot, there are several other elements – like her crossing paths with that of a Fulani herdsman, their inevitable companionship, the communities they get to know, etc. – that build momentum.
The more I delve into the sci-fi genre, the more I’m enjoying it. And Noor has definitely added to my appreciation of what the genre has to offer.
I would’ve liked for the initial worldbuilding passages to have had more information so that I didn’t feel as perplexed as I did.
On the whole, Noor is worth the read if you are interested in exploring novels that feature futuristic themes, corrupt organizations, and the chosen-one trope.
Note – I received an ALC of this book from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review.
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