Guy Gonzalez's Reviews > The Shadow Speaker

The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor
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Aug 11, 11

Read from August 05 to 11, 2011 — I own a copy

In The Shadow Speaker, Nnedi Okorafor spins a wildly imaginative, entertaining and nicely balanced coming of age tale unabashedly set in a fantastical Africa of the near-future where alternate worlds have collided and the threat of war looms on the horizon.

Okorafor's impressive world-building alone is noteworthy enough, but her nuanced characters are what really makes the story work, and its star, 14-year-old Ejimafor (Ejii) Ugabe, is an excellent and much-needed addition to the lily white ranks of Young Adult fantasy heroines. In fact, Okorafor's world is populated with a number of strong female characters, each one a believable and complex mix of strengths and flaws, and its mythological underpinnings draw from African cultural influences.

Don't mistake the YA label as for kids only, though. While Okorafor's style is very accessible, it doesn't mean her ideas (or execution) lack substance. The Shadow Speaker is a worthwhile read for fans of imaginative fantasy novels, as well as those who just enjoy a good story well told.
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Reading Progress

08/08/2011 page 152
45.0% "Imaginative and entertaining, I'm really enjoying it so far."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Will (new)

Will Delighted to see this review. I just picked this up but haven't been able to read it yet. I'm really looking forward to it. I got the chance to see Okorafor speak and read a couple of weeks ago and think she's brilliant.


message 2: by Guy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guy Gonzalez I bought it last year after hearing her on the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast and finally got around to reading it. I just gave it to my 10-year-old son, curious to see what he thinks as he's big on Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. I plan to check her other work out soon.


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