This is the sequel to Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, which like the first in the series, it is also a novella. The story takes up a year after the events of the first book, with Binti taking up her place at Oomza university. She’s still friends with the Meduse Okwu.
However, she’s been left with some post-traumatic stress from the events on the ship that took her to Oomza and is also trying to deal with some irrational anger. All of this compels her to want to go home to go on a pilgrimage. However, not all goes to plan.
She first has to deal with the Meduse-Khoush antagonism on her arrival. Then the homecoming doesn’t go as planned and she’s getting more and more down on herself. Then the ‘Desert people’ show up and instead of going on the pilgrimage, she’s taken out to meet a priestess in a desert.
There’s a lot happening but it’s all in one direction, centring on how Binti is feeling and her trying to overcome the fallout from all the decisions she has made. What is delightful is that she stays true to her character and constantly takes the choice that leads her to greater knowledge rather than what lead her back to safety and acceptance.
What is also brilliant about the book is that it combats tradition where it has no value and prejudice in a variety of forms. It’s a compelling, brilliant read and I love the complexity of the story without overcomplicating the narrative. It’s all about Binti and what she’s doing rather than overloading it with too much world building and subplots.
I’m glad I waited to read it, so I can greedily get the third one on Kindle – because it ends on a little bit more of a cliffhanger than the last one!
I can totally see why everyone recommends this series, it is very good and just so different than a lot of science fiction out there.