Friends, Akata Witch by Nnnedi Okorafor is such a unique fantasy experience, much different from the quest oriented, Western based fantasy that I normally read. AND I LOVED IT. Sunny, main character, is kind of a weirdo, or rather she’s considered a weirdo in her Nigerian village. You see, she lived in America for the first part of her life then moved to Nigeria, which differentiates her from her classmates. Also she’s white. Not like Caucasian white, but albino white and her hair is kind of blonde. All the kids at her school totally make fun of her. ALSO she is smart which means she gets singled out in school. HOWEVER, Sunny makes friends with this kid, Orlu, after she does something brave for him. Yo, and get this, Sunny is a free agent of the leopard people meaning she can do juju magic. I know that’s a weird transition to make, friends, but I don’t want to give away WAY TOO MANY DETAILS and spoil the book for you.
You guys, I finally know what juju is and what it actually means to have bad juju. That’s more of a sidebar. Anyways. Nnedi Okorafor rocks at worldbuilding. So Leopard Knocks is kind of the juju version of Hogsmeade. Meaning it is frexing awesome. There’s lots of shops and well, I love shopping. Also the Leopard People purchase things with chittam which are these metal rods you magically get for learning things. AND they don’t perform magic with wands, instead in Akata Witch, they perform magic with juju knives. Also there’s a bad ass library. And different levels of juju. Basically, the magic system is COOL.
Sunny is part of a quartet that she learns magic with. There’s Chichi who is rockin’ because she LOVES books and has such an attitude, and you know me I love people with attitudes. There’s Sasha who is headstrong and likes to mouth off aka my kind of person and the levelheaded Orlu. The characters are complex. I loved the friendships between the quartet, even when a few turned into something a little more YEAH BUDDY.
Okorafor’s middle grade Akata Witch has tension in spades. The pacing is fricken awesome. There’s a series of murders and the quartet must find and dispose of the bad guy. Of course, the kids are terrified. And with how Akata Witch is written each reveal made me even more nervous for the gang.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor has fantastic writing that took my imagination on a flight of fancy and made me wish there was more African-based fantasy on the market. Also I want to read the rest of Okorafor’s books. You guys, Patrick Rothfuss recommends her on his blog and his recommendations ARE GOLD.
Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library.
This is a CYBILS book.