it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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the money i was making is the last that we had

Book report #64: Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Zahrah the Windseeker

I was predisposed to like this before starting it, simply because I love the author's name so desperately. Unfortunately, I have mixed emotions about the book itself.

It's a middle-grade, I think, and as a physical object, it's a lovely book, with a high-quality binding, pleasing paper, and a gorgeous dust jacket. The world that the story takes place in is unrelentingly neat, with vegetative computers grown from CPU pods and bizarre organopunk technology. I suspect kids will like it for that alone: it's the kind of world you will want to go visit, hang out, and play make-believe in.

Unfortunately, I was less enamored of the narrative. The writing style is distanced and not very descriptive or immersive, so the character's emotions never seem to tke on much immediacy. (The narrator's voice, however, is quite strong.) Still, I think the book suffers from overtelling, which led me to wanting to skim repeatedly. Also, there's a brief note at the beginning of the book that seems to set up an entirely different novel, and feels as if it were left over from an earlier draft, and the actual narrative involves a lot of "the protagonist and her friend do a stupid thing to drive the plot," and also a lot of very arbitrary encounters and rescues that often left me feeling cheated.

Also, I could have done without the hint of romance at the end.

Tags: 100 book reports

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