Tag Archives: Nnedi Okorafor

Book Review: Binti Series by Nnedi Okorafor

Published Sept 22nd, 2015
96 Pages

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.- Goodreads

*This review is for all three books. 

I am going to start with the rating. The first two books, I gave 3 Pickles while the last book I gave 2 Pickles.

The thing about this series is although it is considered science fiction, there wasn’t a whole lot of science fiction in it. Yes, there is space, mathematics and the use of advanced technology but all those things came second. They weren’t are prominent in these books as I thought there would be. I don’t necessarily have an issue with this as I am not the biggest science fiction fan and am slowly trying to get into that genre. However, strangely enough I wanted more of it. The really cool thing was the use of math in this series but I wanted more about the technology and how it is used and who uses it in what way. For the most part, it was brushed over.

What I loved about the book was the culture. Ms. Nnedi may not breakdown every tribe  in full detail. But the ones that are focused on in this book had a lot of detail, imagery and life. It didn’t feel like I was reading a history lesson. My only issue with this is because this is a short story, there was still so many questions I had in regards to each tribe. I am glad Ms. Nnedi didn’t go so far into the history because it would have taken away from the book but a companion book would be fantastic for this series.

But here is why I gave the book 3 & 2 Pickles.


She is an amazingly talented, strong and smart girl. At 17 years old, she does a whole lot to prove herself not only knowledgeable but also capable. My issue with her is she whines and complains every step of the way. I get not wanting to change but her who action is change. She set herself up for change and then when there are consequences to the decisions she makes, she starts having a fit. Crying and all of that. This is throughout all of the books. She has some character development, which you see in book two but in book three, I didn’t see it at all. Bigger things are at stake in book three and she just a short of falling out on the floor and kicking her feet screaming.

Binti is way better than this and the fact that all personal growth stopped at book two bothered me. Does she increase her knowledge? Yes. . . reluctantly but yes. But did she grow as a person not necessarily. She is a child and most if not all her actions reminded me of such. With that knowledge and everything she went through, she didn’t mature enough. Her constant complaining and crying really made the last book more difficult to read.

So overall, the entire series gets a total of 2.7 Pickles if you average and total. I enjoyed it for what it was and really love Ms. Nnedi writing style and have every intention of reading her other books.

Faves: Short Stories

But Tanya, I thought you didn’t like short stories? I don’t. Short stories are not my go to reads but that doesn’t mean I won’t read them and that there aren’t some good ones floating around.

So this is an appreciation post, so to speak, of short stories that ruined my life I love.

First published: June 26th 1948
32 Pages

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

One of my favorite short stories that was able to bring out a range of emotions from curiosity, intrigue to oh snap. Although it doesn’t answer the questions that I had in mind, while reading the book, I didn’t necessarily needed it answered. It would have been nice to know but I think what makes this short story great is the author took time to present the world as it is and what happens during a particular time as opposed to building a backstory and creating an ending that leaves you wanting more.

This short story is well written and I felt satisfied once I finished reading and that is what I look for in short stories.


The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

First published 1894
32 Pages

Small backstory. I read this book in high school and I remember exactly how I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the ball to dropped. I was so sucked into the story. I had mixed feelings for  Mrs. Mallard’s up until she gets by herself and her true feelings come out. There was sense of joy because you hear and read so many stories about women during that time that you’re like, yeah.. good for you! But here is the kicker. When we got to the end of the book, I laughed so loud in my classroom, I got the death stares. And the teacher asked me, why I found that so funny. And I said “the irony of the whole thing. The people were so sensitive around her so caring for her heart and her lost not realizing that she is now the happiest woman in the world but it was taken away from her so fast that yes, she died of a broken heart but not because of the “great”  news.”

To this day, I will never forget that or the story. It showed me how powerful emotions can be. But most importantly, this author was able to bring you at such a high and just like Mrs. Mallard, bring you down so fast that you have to catch your breath. The build up to the end was fantastic and grade A work.

Tor Books
Published November 2nd 2011
32 Pages

Hello Moto by Nnedi Okorafor

This story took me by surprised and what surprised me about it was how I didn’t want a backstory or more information on the characters, I wanted to know the outcome. The author was able to develop the characters and provide more than enough information on them that you know who you are rooting for and why.

There was a build up, that tied such detailed imagery, without you feeling the author was doing too much to get nowhere. I loved the combinations of modern times, technology and witchcraft. It was done tastefully and it was a great introduction to this author.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Originally Published 1820

This is my top favorite short story ever written. I cannot tell you enough, how hard I ship for this story and how passionate I am about any retelling done. If you do it wrong, I will call you out on that. But back to the original story, when I first read this, which was crazy young, my thought was Ichabod Crane was a lame but didn’t deserve what may have happened to him.

I loved the historical aspect of the book i.e. the headless horseman is rumored to be a ghost of a Hessian trooper that got his head shot off by cannon during the American Revolutionary War. I loved the setting, the details the author puts into the book. I was transported into the world; I always am when I read this book. A little side note: I went to see a ballet perform this short story and it was one of the best live performances I have ever . . . ever seen in my life.

It Books
Published December 6th 2011
87 Pages

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Vol. 1

I am considering this a collection of short stories even if most of the stories are 3 lines deep. The words in this tiny book are extremely powerful and relatable, which took me by surprised. If nothing else, this book reminded me that it doesn’t take a whole lot of words to move you. It doesn’t take a whole lot to bring out a memory or put you in a specific space or see what the author wants you to see. I loved this book and bought it. Volume one and two.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

First Published 1982

Now what would be a list of favorite short stories without mentioning Edgar Allan Poe.I share an interesting memory of this short read because it happens to be my little brother’s favorite as well. And us cornballs enjoy spotting this story reference in almost every movie or t.v. show. Think the Spongebob “Squeaky Boots” episode. But this short story was the first thing I have ever read from EAP. It was and it still is creepy but it is one of those creepiness that slowly walks up to you and surprises you with how far it has come.



Short stories are not my thing and I will keep saying that no matter short stories I read. It takes a lot to get me to love it. Most short stories have no problem, bringing me into the world. The issue is always the ending. I like conclusions. I like knowing that the story is done as opposed to me wanting the story to be longer. Short stories should leave you in awe that the author can pack so much into so little amount of pages.

The short stories above are simply the most memorable to me but there are other good ones out there. Maybe one day my list will grow.



Short Story Review: Hello, Moto by Nnedi Okorafor

Tor Books Published Nov. 2nd, 2011 32 Pages
Tor Books
Published Nov. 2nd, 2011
32 Pages

There is witchcraft in science and a science to witchcraft. Both will conspire against you eventually.- Goodreads

*Short Review*

The summary doesn’t really give away anything. So I really took a chance on this read. Also I will say this time and time again, me and short stories do not get along. It is rare that I enjoy a short story or a short story collection…. This is one of those rare times.

As short as this was, I enjoyed it. I was captivated mainly because I wanted to know more. I wanted a backstory to the witches and I wanted more details to why things were turning out the way they were.  The story doesn’t really lead up to anything. You are right there at the beginning of a battle scene.

My biggest with this is the fact that it is a short story. The ending stops mid scene, which pissed me off because it is like how can you do that? Right when everything was happening :(

Overall, for what it was I enjoyed this but wish it was leading to a larger story.

3.5 Pickles