Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I just finished Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor.

Who Fears Death is the name, in some African dialect, of the protagonist of this story. She is the product of what we initially think is a standard wartime rape, a mix of two African peoples, condemned because of her mixed race. The novel is a mythic style tale of upbringing, revenge and redemption.

The setting is deliberately vague.  Only in later parts of the story is it implied it is some set in some post-apocalyptic part of Africa.  But given that, there is no effort to explain the magical parts of the story, as the protagonist is born with special powers that become central to the plot.

Overall, it's an OK book.  The setting is very different from standard SF, but settings that explore different parts of the globe are becoming one of the hot tropes in SF these days.  See The Windup Girl, Brasyl, Dervish House, For the Win, etc. But the story meanders and never really grabbed this reader.