Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor is the third and final book in the Binti trilogy of novellas. I have previously read and reviewed the first two books, Binti and Binti: Home. This book picks up right where Home left off, which is just as well since that one ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.

Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.

Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene--though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives--and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

Well. This book was an emotional roller coaster that I was in no way prepared for. It started more or less how I expected (which was dramatic enough) and then really ramped up... which I suppose I should have expected based on the earlier books. I also feel like I can’t talk about the plot at all because of spoilers. So this was a more emotional read than I was expecting, and I’m not sure that reading it on the plane was a good strategy because I think it would have had an even stronger impact if I hadn’t been a bit sleep deprived for most of it.

A while ago I saw the author describe the three books of the Binti series like this: “Girl  leaves home / Girl comes home / Girl becomes home.” And honestly, keeping that in mind while I was reading made certain events more impactful, even in light of what came next (spoilers redacted). Also, it’s a fair summary of the themes of each book.

I recommend Binti: The Night Masquerade to fans of the earlier books. This isn’t a series you can read out of order since it is more or less one continuous story broken into three parts. If you’re thinking about picking up this space opera, then definitely start with the first book, Binti. I am a bit sad the series is over, but it was a great ride and one day I’d like to reread all three novellas in quick succession, so there’s still that to look forward to.

4.5 / 5 stars

First published: January 2018, Tor.com publishing
Series: Binti book 3 of 3
Format read: ePub on Kobo
Source: Bought from Kobo

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