What Sunny Saw in the Flames
But I also think we have no business trying to determine what could or couldn't possibly be offensive to others - that should be up to the reader and if it offends them they are welcome to stop reading. (less)
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
Sunny was born in New York, but recently moved back to her homeland (Aba, Nigeria) and that transition has not been easy.
We embrace those things that make us unique or odd. For only in these things can we locate and then develop our most individual abilities.
She's bullied for her "American-ness", her weirdness and above all, for her skin, she's an albino African American.
All Sunny wants is to do what other, normal, twelve-year-olds can do - play soccer in the sun, laugh with a bu ...more
Not only is it a refreshing piece of literature that will appeal to fantasy fans and those who are looking for more culture + magic in their reads, it is so much more surprising, structured and well written than Binti from the same author, so definitely do not let that one influence whether you give this a chance or not.
Sunny is albino, which is just her luck since she wishes she could play soccer. But when Sunny is introduced to a secret society of ‘‘juju ...more
It shouldn't have felt milder. Objectively, there were child mutilations and a serial murderer on the loose. And there wasn't some gigantic castle with enchantments up to protect the students. So theoretically, if I were one of these four kids, I'd be creaming my pants.
Brushing that aside, the setting is deeply fascinating to me, with magics very tied to the place and cu ...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
If you like books about magic, particularly teens finding out they have special abilities, learning to use them, and building a community with others like them, this is the book for you. Added to those well-loved tropes is a new landscape with new traditions and rules. Setting it in Nigeria, with Igbo people b ...more
In terms of setting, this book is fantastic: it's interesting, different and a nice change from the super-Euro default setting of most urban fantasy novels. The world-building, although we're not shown much outside of the character's immediate area, is fantastic and gives a good impression of what the glo ...more
I really enjoyed the setting (Nigeria) and use of African culture and magic, but it really suffers from being too formulaic and derivative - it takes a huge number of its plot points from Harry Potter. Don't get me wrong, I loved Harry Potter, but I don't think this one did its own thing nearly enough.
For instance, the Leopard (wizard) kids took a magic train ...more
THIS WAS SOOO GOOD!!!
Honestly I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up, but it didn't take me long to realize what a gem I had stumbled upon.
Okay so Sunny is an albino girl, of 12-ish, and she gets a glimpse of what is to happen in her world, but she isn't all the way sure of what she saw in the flames that night (not a spoiler, it's in the prologue). Normally she is reduced to name calling, being left out, picked on all because, kids are cruel, and albinism is not looked ...more
It's set in Nigeria, and bounces back and forth between what seems like a smallish country village and a larger village set in the jungle. It's both lush and gritty. You get a sense of the dust in the air, the heat, the plant and insect life. The characters are unique, their voices believable. Sunny especially, I was i ...more
First in the Akata Witch series
"Lies are a thing of the physical world. They can't exist in the spirit world."
Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born in America. She is both Nigerian and American. An outsider who belongs. Sunny is different from her family in more ways than one. She’s albino, but she has also seen the end of the world in the flame of a candle. She’s a free agent— a Leopard Person who is not from a family of Leopard People. She has no knowl...more
— Alison Dohe ...more
I am in love with this story.
It felt kind of Harry Potter-ish, if Harry was a girl and the story was set in Nigeria. The whole thing with b ...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
Aside from anything else, this book does a great job delving into questions of identity. Although this is a typical theme for YA stories, it is also one that seems particularly important here. Sunny is confronted with understanding herself from many sides: her place as an American born N ...more
Nnedi Okorafor creates a magical world where you follow a group of kids that form a strong friendship. And slowly you get to learn the magical culture of Nigeria. The country has beautiful names. And I loved that she used, I think, Nigerian words to describe things. It ha ...more
There’s something about Nnedi Okorafor’s writing that is extremely engrossing. Even though I wasn’t a massive fan of the previous novel I’ve read by her, Lagoon, I knew I would still continue reading her works because she has the impressive ability of weaving a beautiful story. ‘Akata Witch’ was no different.
I’d seen this readers compare this book to Harry Potter and that made me incredibly queasy at first, but I still took the plunge. And while I definitely saw a lot of imitation, read ...more
Okay. Let's discuss the elephant in the room. Akata Witch has been nicknamed the African (Nigerian) Harry Potter. While there are some influences, overall this story respects the cultural magic realism hailing from Nigeria and other African countries. Hate to break this truth to some readers, but J.K. Rowling doesn't hold the copyright to magical realism in books, particularly when you see cultural aspects she nicked for her stories. But, we'll save ...more
While the Binti series is sci-fi, this one is young adult fantasy. It had a completely different feel from the author’s other works and I loved it.
The story centers around 12 year old Sunny. She was born in the US but currently lives in Nigeria with her family. Not only does Sunny’s Americanism set he ...more
I've been wanting to read Akata Witch ever since I seen it on Tumblr a few months ago. The cover is so beautiful and the synopsis sounded amazing. I heard that Akata Witch is "The Nigerian Harry Potter" and that definitely sold me.
My favorite thing about this book is the writing. It's rare for me to come across a book with such timeless and articulate writing. Nnedi Okorafor is so talented and I'll be reading any book she writes.
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
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I found Sunny really easy to follow... her voice was readable and likable. And I especially enjoyed her friendship with Orlu who tried to defend her as well as introduced her to his neighbor Chichi.
The beginning was a little slow but got going once Leopard juju magic became involved. I was quite enthralled with the development of the magic and the little rituals that made up the juju. The idea of leopard spirits and spirit faces was a fascinati ...more
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