Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Publication Date: November 16, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction
From Africanfuturist luminary Okorafor comes a new science fiction novel of intense action and thoughtful rumination on biotechnology, destiny, and humanity in a near-future Nigeria.
Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt…natural, and that’s putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was “wrong”. But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that disabled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world views it, as freakish, unnatural, even the work of the devil, AO embraces all that she is: A woman with a ton of major and necessary body augmentations. And then one day she goes to her local market and everything goes wrong.
Once on the run, she meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA and the race against time across the deserts of Northern Nigeria begins. In a world where all things are streamed, everyone is watching the “reckoning of the murderess and the terrorist” and the “saga of the wicked woman and mad man” unfold. This fast-paced, relentless journey of tribe, destiny, body, and the wonderland of technology revels in the fact that the future sometimes isn’t so predictable. Expect the unaccepted.
Why This Book
Noor is another sun drenched desert book. Set in a near future Nigeria, AO abruptly finds herself wandering far from home, falling in with a herdsman on the run. They cross the desert, dealing with sand and heat and an amazing, man-made wind storm. Everything about this book screams “hot”. Despite the nights that inevitably fall, I can’t help but think of all the sun and heat. And why should beaches and exotic locales be the only settings deemed sun drenched? I know with personal experience that deserts can be just as sun drenched, just with a lot more sand and sizzling temperatures. And there certainly is a great deal of warmth in this fast-paced book!
My review: “I really enjoyed the relationships between the main characters and just how all the tech impacted their lives. I did feel a little disconnected, but there was still a lot in it to make me stop and think and reconsider my own life”
Tammy from Books, Bones, & Buffy gave this 4 stars, saying “Another fantastic entry into the Africanfuturism subgenre, Noor blends sci-fi tech with interesting characters and an intriguing African desert setting”
Emma at Words and Peace rated this a 4, saying “I like how the author combined African cultural themes and bigger issues, related for instance to climate change, biotechnology, and the survival of the planet”
Wishfully Reading gave this 2.5 stars, saying “While Noor certainly delivers on the Africanfuturism front, pairing this with a commentary on biotechnology, on humanity, and on the realities of being ‘other’, its plot and characters, to my disappointment, struck me as extremely derivative”
Dina from SFF Book Reviews rated this 9 out of 10, saying “As much as Nnedi Okorafor has to say about making yourself into the person you want to be, about freedom, about big corporations getting rich on the backs of cultures they think worthless, about preserving a way of life, and finding friends and maybe even love in the most unlikely situations, what she also does is write a damn good action scene! Because although I haven’t mentioned it yet, Noor‘s plot kicks serious ass right from the start and with hardly any pauses”
Madeline from The Bookish Mutant gave this 4 stars, saying “Nnedi Okorafor has a writing style that I adore; her worldbuilding and characters are stellar as they are, but she has such a way with words that everything that I mentioned practically jumps off the page. Her metaphors are often humorous and highly specific, and in Noor‘s case, they served to flesh out the characters and world even more so”
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3 thoughts on “Book Highlight: Noor by Nnedi Okorafor”
This book seems super interesting, and the plot sounds unique – what a great in depth review! 😆
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Thank you! It is really interesting, though it took a while for me to figure out where the story was going.
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As Zainab said, this sounds interesting…might have piqued my interest for a new book 🙂