Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having been a fanboy of Anansi in the past, I loved seeing Anansi the storyteller being our narrator here.
As a SF, it was a fairly traditional first contact story dovetailing into a christ image into a deeper story about the building of a world and its stories. Confused? I'm just referring to bare-bones. Beyond that, I was enraptured in the immersion of Nigeria. It was spicy and exciting to me, even though I've read some good African stories in the past, I can rank this up there with them all, and favorably, too.
Before things got dangerous and weird, I was pretty damn impressed with the introduction of so many types and kinds of people. They almost read as a litany of motivations from the sublime to the most base, and when things blew up, I was thoroughly ashamed to call myself human. That's kinda the point, though, and it set us up for the whole christ theme. It wasn't too tired. Sure, it's one of the most overdone subtypes, but the focus was a lot more heavy on change rather than culpability and redemption.
That's good, because the storytelling was always pretty damn on target for just that. The world always changes, whether from outside or from the inside or for good or ill. This was pretty damn satisfying.
The aliens weren't extremely original, but that's not really the point. This whole book could have been written as our subconscious coming to life, magically, to provide us both a mirror to ourselves as well as being the catalyst to something more.
My only real complaint is one I've already made my peace with. Special powers for our MCs? I wanted to blow a raspberry. Fortunately, it all eventually made sense so I let it go.
Good novel, and quite entertaining. I'm going to definitely read more by this author! It is a real eye opener.
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