Title : Akata Witch , Akata Warrior
Author : Nnedi Okorafor
Year of Publication : 2011 (Akata Witch) , 2017 (Akata Warrior)
Genre: Fantasy, Young adult fiction, Paranormal fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Sunny Nwaeze is an America-born albino with Nigerian roots, her parents moved back to Nigeria when she was 9, so that their children could be trained the proper Nigerian way. Like other Nigerians like her, Sunny had to deal with the superstitions that accompany being an albino and insults that come with being an Akata; a rude term used to address black Americans or foreign-born blacks, even amongst her family members. Sunny had encounters with strange things while growing up, like how her life was saved when she had malaria, her vision from the candle. Her grandmother was a strange woman that had lots of controversies about her, so much that Sunny’s mother, her first daughter never talks about her. Along the line, she made friends with Orlu, Chichi and Sasha, and with their help, she learnt about who she really is, unraveled her inner strength and the other side of her, the four of them worked together to bring peace to their world. She also learnt more about her grandmother’s secret and became just like her.
Akata witch and its sequel are very enjoyable books, the thrill, suspense and the fantasy-filled journey, which didn’t in any way make the book lose its African-ness. Nnedi told a real story, despite its genre, the book was REAL, that’s just the word for it. There were challenges, obstacles that every African, especially Nigerian would understand, the stereotypes, resistance from her family among many others.
Another thing I noticed while reading this book was how you have to actually read in between the lines, one of its lessons is to learn to read. Beneath all the thrill and fun, there were lessons, about fear, discovering who you are, getting over insecurity and the benefits of searching for knowledge. Personally, the sequel was a slower read for me, compared to the first book, although I couldn’t place the reason.
Of the four, Orlu was my best character, his patience, calmness and maturity just floated my boat throughout, I loved Chichi and Sasha too despite their quick tempers, a lot of times, they make me laugh and their spirit is contagious. What I felt for Sunny was more of pity than love. I loved Sunny’s mother too, oh! She was amazing a lot of times, the most understanding of them all and her father made my temper rise too many times.
While reading, like always, I tried hard to spot errors, and reasons to complain but honestly, I didn’t get any. This is the first story I read from this author and it’s a huge and bold 4.5/5 for me.
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