Review: BINTI: HOME by Nnedi Okorafor

Publisher: Tor.com
Page Count: 164
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Series: BINTI, Book 2
Rating: 4/5 Stars – Really Liked It

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for book one in this series, BINTI.  Haven’t read it?  You can find my review here!

30038654Having survived a massacre at the hands of the alien Meduse race, Binti found herself in the unusual position of negotiating peace between her captors and Oomza University, the very place Binti had run away from home to attend. In the process, Binti was partially transformed, her hair becoming Meduse-like tentacles.  Now, it’s a year later, and Binti doesn’t know who she is anymore, stuck as she is in this halfway point between human and Meduse.  In an effort to center herself, Binti decides to travel home to take part in her people’s pilgrimage, a ceremony that will officially recognize her as a woman of the Himba people.  But with even her family shying away from her new form, Binti isn’t finding the solace she needs – until an unusual offer comes from the neighboring tribe of the Desert People.

BINTI: HOME is a continuation  of the growth of Binti, a young woman coming of age in the strangest of circumstances.  This is someone who is timid, yet driven by near insatiable curiosity, a desire to understand things that overrides nearly all other impulses. In the first book, Binti found herself warring with her need to maintain tradition and connection with her people, while still seeking the education that only the stars could provide her. Binti continues to seek that balance in this book, her life now complicated by her Meduse appendages.  Making things worse is her ongoing PTSD from the massacre that killed an entire ship of people.  Binti has come to regard the Meduse Okwu as something of a friend, but can’t help that sometimes the mere sight of it is enough to give her a panic attack.  Binti remains a fascinating character and I cannot wait to see where things conclude in the final book.

My one large complaint is that this novella abruptly ends on a massive cliffhanger, unlike the first installment, which concluded a full plot arc by the end of the book.  Reading BINTI: THE NIGHT MASQUERADE is clearly essential for fully paying off everything set up in HOME.  Additionally, as with the previous book, the descriptions of this technology (what it does or how a person interacts with it) can be at times frustratingly vague, but was only a minor detraction from the overall story.  Otherwise, this was an enjoyable continuation of Binti’s tale, with alien species and future tech blending together with African Himba traditions. I look forward to seeing the conclusion of Binti’s arc in the final novella!

 

 

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