Akata Witch is my first fantasy fiction set in Africa by an African author, and I loved it. I had very high expectations for this novel because, African communities are so rich in culture and traditions. We also have very great stories to tell and, as a young girl I had always enjoyed folklore although some stories used to scare me.
I was very captivated by the book cover from the get go, and I appreciate the simplicity of the title now that I know what it means. I really loved how Nnedi established her characters and the structure the novel took. I remember at the start of the book where the teacher handed Sunny the switch so she could hit her classmates for doing terribly on an essay, and I thought to myself “mess”. There is quite a number of things that I really loved about this book.
Sunny, a Nigerian girl born in America moved back to Nigeria with her parents, not knowing how she ever really fit in with her family and society discovers that she has magical powers. She finally found a group of people she could identify with and call them friends. She belonged, and discovered that she lived in a greater world where purpose is greater than one’s life. What normal people “lambs” might see as a disability or imperfection, equated a gift and ability. I appreciated the fact that Sunny’s spirit face was literally the sun. My utmost favourite thing although short lived, is Miknistik. From his name to his character, but especially his name LOL.
I only really hated one thing about this story. Nnedi built up my excitement for a great battle and I must say, the battle that finally happened was underwhelming, as it felt too easy. I kept thinking, “there is no way that Blackhat Otokoto is just dead and the masquerade just gone back like that”. I cannot wait to get my hands on Akata Warrior though because I really think, my “underwhelmed” will take a turn. This was a brilliant. I would definitely recommend this book.