A little over a year ago I read Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, which zipped straight to my “favorite books of all time” list in a heartbeat. I’m late on reading Akata Warrior, the sequel, only because my library just got it in! I saw it on the shelf, did a complete double-take, and grabbed it before someone else in the completely empty library could.
Akata Warrior wasted no time in immersing me in Sunny Nwazue’s world: the hidden magical side of Nigeria. Once again Okorafor’s outstanding worldbuilding made me fall in love with Sunny’s environment–Leopard Knocks is right up there with Diagon Alley on places I desperately want to visit. One of the coolest parts of the world, in my opinion, is that magical currency drops from the sky when the characters learn or understand something knew–they are rewarded for intelligence and diligence. Another element I loved was the increased time in the spirit world, including Sunny’s relationship with her spirit face, Anyanwu. Very, very cool.
One odd thing about this book, however, were quite a few copyediting errors. One or two I can brush off. But the typos and formatting errors in Akata Warrior were frequent enough to make me frustrated with whoever was supposed to fix those. I also feel the continuity of this book suffered compared to Akata Witch. Elements of the plot and characterization needed to be introduced earlier in the book. It felt more episodic than contiguous.
But don’t let these issues stop you from going at Akata Warrior with gusto! It is on the whole a delightful, rich work, that I truly enjoyed. One of the things I liked the most is how Sunny and co. are not exempt from the rules of magical conduct, which are strict. They face judgment and punishment for their actions, and these consequences seriously affect the actions they choose to take. Leaning the rules of her new world along with Sunny, and learning when to bend and break them, is a truly delightful experience. I am eagerly awaiting a third book in the series!
On another note, I leave for Ecuador on Thursday. If I have wifi, then get ready for a month of posts from abroad! If not, I will have scheduled posts as a back up, full of writing resources. Here’s to several days of frantic last-minute packing!