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Who Fears Death (Who Fears Death, #1)
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Women of Africa > Who Fears Death group discussion (July '16)

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Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
This month we're reading Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor. This post-apocalyptic fantasy has been widely praised. Who's planning on reading this with us this month?


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
This one was difficult for me. So many people I respect absolutely loved it, while I was mystified. I suspect I need to read it again!


message 3: by Viv (new) - rated it 4 stars

Viv JM | 97 comments 1 star?! Eek, you really didn't like it!

I am planning to read this, probably towards the end of the month. I recently read The Book of Phoenix which is the prequel, and I thought it was pretty cool.


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
I really enjoyed her writing style, and the first third or so of the book had me completely engaged.


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
But then I got mad! Perhaps I overreacted? Really looking forward to talking about it!


message 6: by Viv (new) - rated it 4 stars

Viv JM | 97 comments So, I started this last night. It's not the cheeriest start, what with the (view spoiler). I'm not sure reading it at the same time as Ruby is the best for my mental health - so much violence :-(

I understand from reading some reviews that these aspects are crucial to the storyline/character development so I am going to stick with it, but I would definitely say this one needs some trigger warnings.


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
Oh yikes, I would definitely not want to read it in tandem with Ruby! Talk about grim! I don't know what to say to you - I actually liked the beginning, and then for me it went downhill from there. I also spent the whole time wondering why it had been described as post-apocalyptic, when all I saw was fantasy.


message 8: by Viv (new) - rated it 4 stars

Viv JM | 97 comments I'm about halfway through now & it's not as grim as I originally thought it would be. In some ways it feels like a typical "hero(ine)'s quest" - what with a (view spoiler) and so forth. Obviously, the setting and the mixed race female protagonist make it somewhat more unusual! I am finding the world building a little bit odd in as much as the world portrayed seems quite primitive but then also there are technological devices referred to and occasionally even used. Maybe the apocalype was a long, long time ago so there are vestiges from the past.

Is anyone else joining in with this read?


message 9: by Alexa (last edited Jul 26, 2016 09:08AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
23 other members of this group marked it as "to read" and 9 have already read it - so there should certainly be some opinions out there!

Yes, I think calling it a quest is exactly right! Perhaps for me the journey just went on too long?


message 10: by Viv (new) - rated it 4 stars

Viv JM | 97 comments I've finished this now & I kind of agree with you, Alexa, about the journey going on a bit too long!

However, there were a lot of aspects of the book I really liked. I thought the FGM was very sensitively dealt with. I thought the romance was realistic in the constant struggle to balance things between them - Mwita's seeming jealousy of Onye's powers, plus his internalised sexism vs her anger management issues! I also thought there were some great female characters, especially Luyu who was awesome.

I thought the writing was occasionally a bit unpolished but this was Okorafor's first novel and I didn't find that in her later novel, The Book of Phoenix.


message 11: by Alexa (new) - rated it 1 star

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
I really enjoyed her writing in about the first third of the book and was quite enchanted - but then it just all kind of fizzled for me. I remember feeling it all just got too simplistic. I also remember feeling that perhaps it would have worked better as a short story. I was enjoying the beginning so much that I ended up really disillusioned by the end - as if she had just raised my expectations to too high of a level. So my anger isn't quite justified! I think your point about reading some of her later work makes a lot of sense!


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