Every now and again, I find a rare gem in a book. Binti is one of these books. This is a short read (90 pages), but it’s long enough to pull you into a unique world of sand and desert, Astrolabes and ancient Edans, and living creatures serving as ships. The various sects of people; Khoush, Himba, and Meduse are equally fascinating.
Sixteen-year-old Binti is a math genius—a girl who chooses to break long traditions by being the first Himba to leave her ancestral land and travel through space to a prestigious University—Oomza Uni. When the ship is attacked en-route, Binti finds that the ancient “Edan” (mysterious metal device) she’d found in the desert of her homeland, has powers she knows nothing about, and it becomes her protector from the Meduse attackers. The Meduse are large jellyfish like creatures that are blue and translucent. They have a stinger and blast out large plumes of gas to help them breathe (Love this so much). One of the Meduse, Okwu, tells Binti “I wish I could just kill you.” But her ancient Edan is keeping the Meduse at bay. A standoff begins, and Binti finds herself trying to broker peace between the Meduse and Oomza Uni before the ship arrives at the university and a bloodbath ensues. But the sacrifice she will make will change her in a way she never expects, and soon she finds herself on a journey that will transform her life.
The next book “Binti Home” is equally as wonderful. Can’t wait to see how Nnedi Okorafor continues this creative series. If you’re not a sci-fi fan, these books might change your mind.