Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1)
Our main character is Sunny, a twelve-year-old girl born in the U.S. but recently moved to her parents’ homeland of Nigeria. Sunny stands out in more ways than one – she’s albino, she’s a prodigy at soccer, and she’s teased at school for being an akata (literally a ‘wild animal’) because she i ...more
This book's greatest strength is definitely the worldbuilding. I loved the magic and magical community in this book; Harry Potter comparisons can be made simply because both authors have a flair for inventing vivid ...more
Pros: Love that the story is set in Africa, with African and African American main characters, as well as an albino. Also, it goes the Percy Jackson route of explaining that what we call "learning disabilities" like ADD and dyslexia, are just bi-products of their uniqueness as magicians. The world building is fantastic. We often see magic from a European point of view and it was really cool to see this fresh take.
Cons: When I was told that ...more
I like some components of this book much more than others. The background chara ...more
The Nigerian setting and the system of magic were what I liked most about this book and what I thought were the novel's greatest strengths. I loved the vocabulary that went with both, although a glossary for the Igbo words would have been nice.
I like learning about about other cultures, ideally through travel; by necessity, though, it's mostly through reading. The setting here provided neat glimpses into Nigeria's culture and language and in the way the country's official language Engl ...more
I’ve seen a few reviews that describe the book as being inspired by or too similar to Harry Potter. Both are coming-of-age stories about children who discover they have magic. Both protagonists explore a hidden magical community, and ultimately, they both have to face a ...more
What I personally love best about the novel is how well it plays on the confusion of identities that affect so many Nigerians, especially those who've split time between Nigeria and the U.S. or Europe as children. I certainly remember returning from America to Nigeria at the age of ten, after seven years abroad, and encountering hostility and ridicule as an outsider, feeling as if I didn't really belong on any of the three continents I'd calle...more
Also the setting is so rich: mud huts and albino skin, red stew and dark earth, red blood and white bone--every se ...more
In Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, 12 year-old Sunny is trying to find her fit in the world based on who she is as a person, but is challenged by how others see her. After being born in America, and living her first years there, Sunny is currently living in Nigeria with her parents and brothers, as her parents decided to return to their homeland. She is constantly bullied at school because she is an “akata,” a derogatory term for an American of African descent, an ...more
This is a long book. It isn't so much super-long as that it has a lot of stuff going on. I thought to myself halfway through "It is OKAY that this is so long, because maybe she decided it would be better as one long book than ...more
This is a different type of fantasy that I think is refreshing and new, but still familiar to Caribbean and (I assume) African readers because of the cultural knowledge about folktales and regional magic practices like Obeah and Voodoo. I imagine others with knowledge about non-European cultural knowledg ...more
Pros: It was nice to read a book about magic-users that didn't take place in the US or UK. It seems that so many, almost too many, do when there are so many more magic-users all around the world.
Cons: It started out really well with an interesting premise and building up the world of these four Nigerian teenager magic-users, or Leopard People, very much ...more
I liked the protagonist, and some of the magic stuff. There was an awful lot of just explaining, though, the ol' telling instead of showing. That got a little tedious. Is this the first of a series? It seemed like it (though it does stand alone as well, which is ni ...more
This quote waits at the beginning of Akata Witch, just after the dedication. It resonates, it's sentiment familiar to anyone who loves the fantasy genre. In many ways I feel that it describes just what fantasy is capable of--making the ordinary extraordinary, if only you look at it through new eyes.
In the very first c ...more
Sunny Nwazue is a pretty normal girl living in Nigeria. At least she feels pretty normal. There are certain things, though, that make her stick out. First of all, she's albino, and her pale skin and light-colored hair attract attention. Secondly, she was born in America and only recently moved back to her p ...more
Let's start with the comparisons-- Harry Potter meets the traditional parts of Things Fall Apart-- they're pretty valid. Like HP, we have a young child, in this case albino Sunny, doesn't fit in, finds out there's magic in them, and is sent on a quest to learn about themselves and defeat a great evil. I feel that for this to truly compare to HP there needed to be AT LEAST another 1 ...more
I loved 96% of this book, the only thing that really bothered me was that at times the author was obviously trying to make a point. Especially concerning the character of Sasha, it seemed like the author had an agenda. Sasha like Sunny was born in America to Nigerian parents. Unlike Sunny, Sahsa has not lived in Nigeria since he was nine and is more sensitive to how Africans treat Black Americans. Sasha moved to Nigeria without his parents as a punishment for using his magical powers irresp ...more
In a profile of Nnedi’s work titled “Weapons of Mass Creation”, The New York Times called Nnedi’s imagination “stunning”.
Her YA novels include AKATA WITCH (an Amazon.com Best Bo ...more