Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor

I’ve been hearing about the book as a great example of science fiction by a black author and decided to pick it up. Luckily, my library had the novellas collected into a single book.

Published: 2019 as a collection, 2015-2017 as novellas

Genre: 358 pages

Setting: mostly the desert African city of Himba, and the planet Oozma Uni

Summary: Short version: Binti’s event-filled life after she’s accepted to an off-world school

Long version: Binti, as a Himba girl and Master Harmonizer, is expected to stay home and take over her father’s job making astrolabes. She has other plans for her life, though. She secretly applies to Oozma Uni and sneak off to the spaceport to attend. Her spaceship is attacked by Medusae. Everyone on board is killed but her and the pilot because of the protection provided by an ancient edan she found in the desert. She arranges a peace with the Medusae, becoming part Medusae in the process and becomes friends with Okwa, the Medusae admitting to the University with her. She has some difficulties adjusting to the new location. However, a trip into the desert helps her adjust. Eventually, she decides she needs to go home and go on a women’s pilgrimage. Instead, she meets the zinariya, a desert tribe that integrates alien tech into their bodies to communicate with each other. While she’s there, the Khoush attack her family’s compound to kill Okwa. They are unsuccessful. Binti is killed trying to renegotiate peach. She is resurrected when she’s placed on board New Fish, a living ship.

Final thoughts: Another solid but not awesome book. I found the character of Binti to be a very believable girl. She didn’t know everything or always what to do, besides to be true to herself and keep trying. Those are good messages that anyone needs to be reminded of occasionally.

Binti was very definitely of African desecnt. Sometimes a characters race is pretty irrelevant to their actions and seems to be interchangeable with any race. That was not so in this case. Binti’s culture was an important element of the story – from how she braided her hair to the clay she used to cover her skin. Binti brought change with her life, though, to a culture that did not want to change. She left her homeland, which just isn’t done, saw the Night Masquerade, which should only happen to males, and chose to become part zinariya, who were considered crazy desert by the Himba. As a master harmonizer, she always worked for peace and harmony. She also used mathematics to meditate and calm her mind.

Title comes from: The main character

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #61 for 2019

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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