Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged into the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommendation: Yes! (If bugs are triggering, I would advise skipping certain paragraphs)
Disclosure: Received a free finished copy in an exchange for an honest review. No spoilers
Since joining the book community I have heard nothing but praise for Nnedi Okorafor’s writing, but due to life getting in the way it wasn’t until recently I actually picked up a book of hers. Akata Witch is unlike any fantasy novel I have ever read in my entire life. Despite being called the Nigerian Harry Potter due to very loose similarities, this novel spins a tale like no other.
We learn about all this magical world has to offer through the eyes of Sunny, a twelve year old American born Nigerian who happens to be albino. Sunny believes herself to be a somewhat “normal” girl until she starts to spend time with her classmate Orlu and his friend Chichi. Sunny is a relatable character she just wants to enjoy the simple things like soccer and have friends who won’t turn their backs on her. Throughout the novel, Sunny learns of the Leopard People and starts to discover her true self.
I loved learning about the Leopard People, their fantastical world, and visiting Leopard Knocks. Dr. Okorafor’s writing paints a vivid picture of Leopard People and their vast but tiny world hidden from Lambs like you and me. I am so excited for the relase of the sequel Akata Warrior out October 3!
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because although the novel itself is superb, I felt the ending was rushed and the inevitable showdown was lackluster. All in all, Akata Witch is definitely worth a read and a wonderful story. If you want a copy and an ARC of the sequel Akata Warrior details about the giveaway below!
Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death. Nnedi’s books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa. She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. She can be contacted via her website, www.nnedi.com.