Reads & Listens

Review: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

August 3, 2019


Sunny, a 12-year-old girl, born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, has spent much of her life feeling out of place. She is albino and thus, can not spend her days in the ways most children do. Her greatest desires are to be able to play soccer during the day (instead of under moonlight) and to go a day without being tormented and bullies. Everything changes when, one day, she befriends a boy in her class named Orlu and a girl of unknown age named Chichi. Sunny is soon plunged in to the magical world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and a boy from Chicago named Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down the man responsible for a series of kidnappings and violence towards children. Will they overcome the evil powers at be?

“There are more valuable things in life than safety and comfort. Learn. You owe it to yourself.” — NNEDI OKORAFOR, AKATA WITCH

Witchcraft + A Rich Fantasy World + Mythology +Neil Gaiman endorsement? ALL THE YES PLEASE.

It has been quite some time since I’ve gotten so lost in a book that I’ve let the world drop away for a couple of days. That I just let myself get fully lost in the magic world coming to life on the page and in my imagination. Meeting new characters (making new friends, really), exploring new worlds, with new tastes, new smells, new languages.

It’s such a special kind of tingly feeling. That feeling of just being completely sucked into every detail. Unable to pull yourself away, to put it down. And, if you’re forced to put it down, you’re anticipating picking it up again. 

Books like Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor are the reason reading is one of my ABSOLUTE favourite hobbies. They expand me and suck me in. They are mind-expanding, heart-expanding, world expanding, soul-expanding.

You cannot help but fall in love with the characters and to keep reading on to see how they overcome, to see what fate has in store for them, and to tag along on whatever adventures they will take next. You can’t wait to see the world through their eyes, to bring to life in your mind the details of the magical places, creatures, and people, to explore what every conversation and interaction will teach you next.

To give you a further idea of how I feel about this book, Akata Witch is part of a trilogy and I read the first 2 books in 2 days; Akata Warrior pulling me in with just as much vibrancy. And, if you are at all a fan of young adult fantasy, I bet the magical world that Nnedi Okorafor brings to life will suck you in too.

Expect to be utterly steeped in Nigerian mythology and magic, to explore a brand new world expertly developed by Nnedi Okorafor, and to become emotionally involved in the plights of every character.

Not to mention, any book that puts such a high value around knowledge and learning earns extra “yes please” points in my books.

Counting down the days until this duo becomes a trilogy.

If you need a little mysticism and magic in your life, you should probably just go pick it up now.

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