Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor Book Review

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.

Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor, Book Cover

Akata Witch

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.

Other Reviews of Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor:

Reading In Color
Amy Reads
Charlotte’s Library

Purchase Akata Witch here.* link will take you to Amazon where I am an affiliate and make a paltry commission when you buy frivolous things after clicking the link. Go ahead, indulge yourself it’s win win. You get a nice new package on your doorstep AND you get to help benefit this blog! HOLLA!

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I am SO GLAD you loved this, you know I’ve been waiting for your review because I’ve been thinking about reading this for ages.

    I really wanna read her other books too, ever since I saw Patrick Rothfuss talking about one of them – Who Fears Death maybe?

  2. This is far and away my favorite of her juvenile fiction; she seems to me to have matured a lot as a writer (and I love the cover!).
    Here’s my review of Zahrah the Windseeker, if you’re interested….

  3. This is one of the very special books on my shelf that is just waiting for me to finish up some ARCs and get around to reading! Have you read Zahrah the Windseeker yet? It’s SO GOOD!

  4. So glad you were such a fan of this one!! Okorafor is a new favorite author of mine and I definitely recommend her other works.

  5. marcellinus says

    cant i get a comprehensive summary of the book itself or an explicit review from the beginning to the end.
    thank you


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