Books read, March 2012

This post tells you a great deal about what my March was like.

Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor. The elevator pitch for this one might be “Harry Potter in Nigeria.” Sunny, a girl with albinism, finds out she’s one of the “Leopard People,” which is to say people with magic, and learns how to use her power, so as to defeat an evil magician. I loved it for the setting and the differences that produced (Sunny’s schooling isn’t half so formal as Harry’s, and the whole approach to that, not to mention the magic itself, is not much like Rowling’s work), but the general shape of the story is familiar, and didn’t engage me as much as a more unusual structure might have. Especially because there’s a vibe common to this sort of urban fantasy, a “magic people are cooler than normal people” vibe, that rubs me the wrong way, and while there’s hints in here that said attitude is not an admirable thing in Leopard People, the story itself doesn’t do as much as I would have liked to deconstruct the arrogance and separatism. (Possibly later books will do more? I think this is the first in a series. Certainly the underlayer to the evil-magician thing suggests more to come.)

The Time of the Ghost, Diana Wynne Jones. Discussed elsewhere.

Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear. Discussed elsewhere.

The Skiver’s Guide, Diana Wynne Jones. Discussed elsewhere.

Changeover, Diana Wynne Jones. Discussed elsewhere.

Earwig and the Witch, Diana Wynne Jones. Discussed elsewhere.

. . . yeah. If it weren’t for my determination to finish the DWJ Project this month, that list would be even shorter. February’s prediction came true with a vengeance.

I hope to do better in April, but as mentioned before, I’m getting into research reading now, and that doesn’t go as fast.

0 Responses to “Books read, March 2012”

  1. calico_reaction

    The elevator pitch for this one might be “Harry Potter in Nigeria.”

    I’m SO GLAD I’m not the only one who felt this way while reading the book. 🙂

    Have you read any of Okorafor’s other work?

    • Marie Brennan

      It’s pretty much unavoidable at this point that any young adult “surprise! you have magic!” urban fantasy is going to get that comparison. But it felt especially true here, because of the family history aspect, and the amount of time spent on learning/integrating with the special world, etc.

      I haven’t read any of her other books yet, no, though I will. I opted to pick this one up first because it was newly released at the time.

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