Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.
If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself — but first she has to make it there, alive.
Binti is less than 100 pages, so you will have nearly no issues finishing it in one day. (Notice I said nearly, because you never know what life will throw at you.) The other reason you may be propelled through the story is wondering where it all leads or seeking answers to some questions you may have about the plot.
I’m honestly not sure what I think about this. Most of the time reading I was thinking something along the lines of ‘huh’, or ‘what is going on’. While yes I followed what was happening, I just didn’t really understand why, or didn’t understand the why right away.
Binti is leaving home. For her people though, this is not done. So she sneaks away for this opportunity to study what she is interested in studying. She gets on a ship, because this school is not even on her planet. She starts opening up to her other classmates when the ship is attacked. How the ship is attacked without some kind of warning going off or some kind of perimeter warning, I don’t know. But another race infiltrates the ship and kills everyone except the Captain, and Binti. The Captain lives because they need him to call in the landing and make it seem all normal. Binti had found some kind of artifact back home, and was carrying it with her as some kind of lucky charm. This artifact is what somehow saves her, she is then able to run away and locks herself in her room.
Nothing special stands out to me in this story or with the writing, although it is unique. I would give this story 3 of 5 stars. I think I’d have preferred a bit more, and I have issue with one of the main plot points – the aliens invading the ship without first being detected in the area. From looking on Amazon, there are at least 2 other books in this series. I am sorry to say I am not interested enough to continue.