Who Fears Death
In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, sh ...more
The Publisher Says: An award-winning literary author presents her first foray into supernatural fantasy with a novel of post- apocalyptic Africa.
In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl ...more
“To be something abnormal meant that you were to serve the normal. And if you refused, they hated you... and often the normal hated you even when you did serve them.”
*First buddy read with Marie Luftikus
I was so looking forward to reading "Who Fears Death" but sadly, all I'm left with is the disappointment! If it wasn't for this being a buddy read, I would have DNF at 12%! In the long run, we both agreed to call it quits at 50%!!! Thank freaking goodne ...more
I read somewhere that this book was partially inspired by Emily Wax’s 2004 Washington Post article “We Want to Make a Light Baby,” which spoke of weoponized rape the Arab military men used against Black women during the Dafur conflict. And ...more
I know there are great reviews of this out there and Nnedi Okorafor has won a Hugo and a Nebula and a slew of other awards. So it's a case of this just isn't my thing rather than it's a bad book.
I made it over half way when I decided I might have just waded too far in this desert landscape.
To start with the positives -
I liked the setting of this book, some sort of post-apocalyptic Sudan complete with genocides and FGM, thus even though this is a fantasy novel, it is dealing with many r ...more
“What makes you think that you should understand it all?” he asked. “That’s a lesson you have to learn, instead of being angry all the time. We’ll never know exactly why we are, what we are, and so on. All you can do is follow your path all the way to the wilderness, and then you continue along because that’s what must be.”
What a unique reading experience. I've truly never read a fantasy book like this one. Okorafor has crafted a superbly realized world, that of post-apocalyptic Sudan, where ...more
This is an excellent story, blending quest, myth, magic, cautionary t ...more
Onyesonwu is a fierce young women who sets out to face who she is and discover her destiny in the process. The Nuru seek to oppress Okeke people, the violence and pain that they inflict on the Okeke was disturbing to read about. Onyesonwu's mother uses the pain she felt when she was raped to move forward and heroically rebuilds a life for herself when she survives. The well written descriptions of magic and African Spirituality made me want to learn more ...more
If I could get beyond the rather horrible institutionalized brutality, (and I kinda have to in order to finish the book,) then what is left is a rather great dystopian fantasy, totally post-apocalyptic, that shows hints o ...more
Ooh buddy. Oh boy oh boy. Feels like a while since I had one of these, a book that I just completely unabashedly hated. Good stuff. I don't know if I want to write a little narrative or weave my thoughts into sentences so instead I'm just going to bullet point stuff and complain about it. Starting with...
So we've got a story about far future Africa. It stars a young girl growing up in this messed up world, deeply inspired by juju and shamanism and all that sort of thing. Ob ...more
CONTENT WARNING: (view spoiler)[ Just too much rape. So much rape. You ...more
This is the tale of Onyesonwu, a girl who's as obnoxious as she is mad. She doesn't think life is all that fair to the women in ol' Africa, and so she sets out to learn juju so that she can take revenge on her father (the guy who ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goo ...more
In Nnedi Okorafor’s post-apocalyptic Sudan, there are two predominant ethnic factions: the light-skinned Nuru and the dark-skinned Okeke. Who Fears Death takes place amid a genocide that the Nuru commit against the Okeke, a campaign that (like genocides in our own time) includes both murder and rape. The mixed-race offspring of a Nu ...more
I wanted to like this more than I did. I was quite looking forward to reading some African fantasy, especially by a female author. It's a refreshing change to the majority of vaguely medieval European male-dominated quest fantasies that are ubiquitous in the genre. I mean, I love LOTR as much as the next person, but China Miéville's comments on the inherent conservatism of much fantasy is definitely something I'd agree with. I realise that I also nearly fell into the trap that other r ...more
Set in an alternate/post-apocalyptic/futuristic African desert (with magic) "Who Fears Death" opens with a teenage Onyesonwu at her father's funeral. Grieving, she briefly and unintentionally starts to bring him back to life. She is a sorcerer, feared and hated because of her powers and her parentage. Her abilities, though spectacular, mostly endanger her and cause her suffering. But they also lead her on a quest to save her mother's people from impending war, slavery, ...more
Onyesonwu is a child of rape (outcast) with magical powers that must go on an epic quest to stop the genocide of her mother's people.
This book has some very touching moments as well as some very meaningful ones. However, this book contains TONS of triggers such as vividly describing rape and mutilation scenes as well as other tender subject matters. I personally was not prepared for these as I try not to read reviews of books before I pick them up from my personal library. I fear that it ...more
Originally posted on my website, Koenix
I've skipped reading Who Fears Death for a long time, since I first heard about it in 2013. I heard repeatedly that it contains a graphic recounting of the rape of the protagonist's mother, and I was pretty sure I did not want to read about that. However, I've enjoyed three other novels by Okorafor and decided I really should attempt it.
It was more graphic than I thought it would be, honestly.
Who Fears Death is a post-apocalyptic novel about a young wom...more
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