Akata Woman

Viking. (The Nsibidi Scripts: Bk. 3). Jan. 2022. 416p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780451480583.
Gr 5 Up–Okorafor continues to explore the magical abilities of Nigerian-American albino Sunny, 15, and her Leopard People friends Chichi, Orlu, and American-born Sasha in this intriguing third book in the Afrofuturist fantasy series. The friends have been forced by giant spider spirit Udide to enter the spirit world to find a magical object called a ghazal that Chichi’s mother stole from Udide. If they don’t succeed within seven days, Udide will destroy the Nimm village where Chichi’s royal mother grew up. As they journey through the magical world, they travel to a more advanced planet where nature is the greatest technology, wind up on the Road of Spirits, and encounter terrifying and powerful masquerades. Along the way, the friends learn more about their true spirit selves and the extent of their magical abilities. Sunny learns she’s a ogbanje, a spirit that’s able to glide effortlessly back and forth between worlds. She also learns more about the circumstances of her birth. In knowing her origins, she comes to better understand why her father resents her so much. Her burgeoning romance with Orlu is very sweet and she resolves some of her issues with her spirit face Anyanwu, too. Okorafor beautifully centers African mythology, Nigerian culture, history, food, and phrases into this beautifully written fantasy featuring all Black characters.
VERDICT This lyrical Afrocentric fantasy is not to be missed by readers who’ve loved Okorafor’s work, and the previous books in the series.

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