Binti Home by Nnedi Okorafor – short fiction review

"Binti Home" by Nnedi Okorafor.
“Binti Home” by Nnedi Okorafor.
Binti Home picks up almost a year after the first novella by Nnedi Okorafor. Binti finds she has a lot of anger issues, and she often explodes at Okwu, her Meduse friend. She does not know why she has this uncontrolled rage, but it begins affecting her classes. At the end of the year, she goes home to Earth to reconcile with her parents, and Okwu comes with her. He will be the first Meduse to visit Earth in peace.

Binti Home has a lot going for it. Binti is an interesting protagonist, and Okwu is very alien. Okorafor has a way with description that draws the reader into the story so they can really experience it. The smell and earthly feel of otjize was almost tangible. The peaceful calm of the desert night, punctuated by the roving bands of dangerous animals. All of it made the story feel more alive. She makes you feel as if you are there.

The pacing of the story in Binti Home worked well. Events rolled along at a steady pace, with nothing happening too quickly to absorb. However, the plot and structure were not quite up to those in the first book. Yes, events happened, and they were important parts of the story. The ending of this volume, though, was too abrupt and included little to no closure for the reader. It felt as if these chapters were torn out of a regular novel and packaged without any changes.

The one positive thing to how this volume ended: it left me wanting to read the rest of the story. I can’t emphasize enough how much I like this story. It’s very solid, but this volume had problems. If a series is going to consist of several novellas (just as with novels), they each need to have a payoff. The first one had that. Binti Home did not. The next one comes out in September this year, so I hope to find that closure there.

Release Date: January 31, 2017 (USA)
ISBNs: 0765393115 (9780765393111)
Publisher: Tor Books
Language: English

MySF Rating: Three point five stars
Family Friendliness: 100%

Content:

Alcohol/Drugs: 0
Language: 1 (very brief, mild)
Sexuality: 0
Violence: 1 (some sibling fighting, very little actual violence)

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