Sade's Reviews > Children of Blood and Bone
A thoroughly dissappointing read.
Before i dive into this review, i'd just like to say that i did like the premise of this book. I liked the fact that Tomi wanted to explore Yoruba mythology, i also absolutely loved the fact that she wanted to put Nigeria not just as a place representing Africa as a whole but a country with it's unique culture and all that - she failed in that though , but hey at least she didn't do the whole Africa is a country thing.
First of: Adeyemi had a chance really to properly explore yoruba mythology and you know just educate people but somewhere along the line everything started looking like a rebooted Netflix Version of your fave animie. How do you delete Olodumare, Olorun and Olofi and put Sky Mother??? Who is that?
Then this Nigeria depicted in this book is so lazy. I know, i know, people might say it's fiction but Nigeria is a real ass place. The least you can if you're going to use real places and basically base the identity of your characters as Nigerians is to actually PROPERLY represent such a country. First of Nigeria is freaking huge. So when these characters were hot steping from Lagos - Ilorin - Sokoto in a matter of days i'm sorry i just couldn't roll with it. Then the weather, i mean c'mon snow in Ibadan??? Look i never saw snow until i lived outside Nigeria for 2 years. So this thing she does where she sort of uses weak token gestures to make these characters believable Nigerians is sad. I mean what is with this dashikis they were wearing? I didn't even see one mention of an Agbada or a fila or something.
Now that i think about it, you're not even sure what era in Nigeria she's basing her characterisation of Nigeria on. I'm saying this because 1. she mentions Gombe State. Gombe was created in 1996 out of Bauchi State. Also, the author makes it seem like it's just Yoruba that exists in the whole of Nigeria. I find it difficult to imagine for example that people in Sokoto are going to care one hoot for a yoruba deity. Nigeria has so many tribes who i'm sure obviously have their own mythologies and the author basically saying the whole Nigeria is yoruba is just like i said, a lazy depiction of Nigeria.
Then the hair. See. I've noticed authors want to write in black women/girls but never want to write them with real hair. HOW WERE ZELIE & AMARI'S HAIR BONE STRAIGHT? Did they have relaxers? Binta's hair is literally described as falling in silky sheets. I mean how??? Inan describes Zelie hair like this "White locks that once fell in smooth sheets now cascade down her back in flowing waves" Ugh!!!! Forget the mushy description. But even when her hair is going natural, Tomi Adeyemi still refuses to give her the typical hair you would find on an average Nigerian girl. I mean except she had Fulani blood in her which she clearly didn't, This hair thing was a huge fail.
Could be wrong, but i honestly feel like she was pandering to her non African audience in terms of the hair & depiction of Nigeria. Which is why her characters for me almost feel like foreign Nigerians. I mean even the name of her main character is so not Yoruba. Fun fact: There's no 'z' in the yoruba alphabet so where did the name Zelie come from?
Let's dive into the plot proper...Which is frankly a hot mess. The magic system is completely unexplained which i felt was delibrately done in order to carry Inan's story arc. Then blood magic?? Really if anyone knows what that was all about, feel free to explain it to me please.
The constant need YA authors have to pair characters up like if that doesn't happen, the whole plot will spontaneously combust. The annoying, irritating fact that even though this author is a woman she couldn't make Zelie bad ass enough and stop being so damn emotional.
We have so few bad ass female MC's, and the few YA authors manage to write, have their abilities forever overshadowed by falling in love with some freaking dramatic shit of a male character that cannot get his priorities right.
Also whoa!!! The Avatar Last Airbender similarites were so glaring that i was unable to unsee them at every freaking point.
I honestly feel the bar is basically set on the floor for YA novels, which is why someone can toss in a few Yoruba words, add a real African country in it for good measure, have a gaping plot hole in terms of the magic system, give characters magic willy nilly but still have everyone go awwww because hey guess what, i know i didn't tell you how it works but don't worry here's two beautiful characters falling in love don't stress yourself on how everything works. You want to know the deal with Blood magic? shhh shhhh here's two beautiful characters kissing.
Miss me with this book!
Start panicking everyone!!!"
"An unknown force burns behind his amber gaze, a prison i can't escape. Something in his spirit seems to claw into mine"
please why??? why???"
"A strange sensation rushes through me, surfing through my veins, trapping the breath in my chest. With it, warmth buzzes under my skin. A death....
Like I'm just here like nawa oh."
ahn ahn.. what kind of wuru wuru writing is this one?
wuru wuru: basically means when you're trying to cut corners."
basically all Inan has been thinking about/ saying.
Inan: i can smell her soul .. turquoise clouds. Kill her.. kill the magic.. Kill her.. Kill the magic"
YA books are harder than adult fiction.. nothing is ever straight forward"
is it not the magic thing that has been established since?"
i really don't think the powers are well explained though."
mehn i just can't with this descriptions.........ehen he has started again Kill her Kill magic.. that's all Inan's thoughts are"
Could have just stopped at "something commanding" and we'd get the gist. but nope gotta be all sing song and add something golden too,
i feel like the author was deliberately vague on basically how the the whole magic system works just so she could put in anything.
Can't challenge something you don't know the mechanics of."
WTF is happening???? omg you guys!!!!
i'm going to to the gym cos i can't anymore!!!"
Things are being said but nothing is being explained."
Anyways what’s the deal with the hair? Also how on earth was Zèlie’s hair bone straight? Did she relax it?"
“She breathes her voice ragged. Her fingers dig into my back, pulling me closer”
Ahhhhhhhhh this book just did a 360 because this is not PG13"
We need to talk about how authors keep writing female leads that lose their head and sense because Man!! Sick of it!!"
On a positive note: Getting to the end, these chapters have actually been kinda exciting. Loved Amari in these chapters too."
rolling my eyes so far back i can't believe my eyes haven't popped out of my head!!!
How did this author write such an incredibly naive and totally irritating character. Kai!!!!
I can't be an editor."
OMG I'M SO ANNOYED!!"