BantuBook Reviews: Binti (3 Book Series) by Nnedi Okorafor
Reviewed by Cheyenne Finch
BantuBook Score: 5/5
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 the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.
I very rarely give a book 5/5, 10/10, or the maximum amount of stars. However, this has to be one of the best sci-fi series I have ever read. It revolves around a young African woman discovering herself while also evolving into so much more.
“We prefer to explore the universe by traveling inward, as opposed to outward.”
I read this book on a recommendation from a good friend and the only time I was disappointed was when it came to an end. The story had me pulled in from start to finish and craving more. Binti is a strong young woman defying tradition and culture in search of knowledge and growth. She is relatable to many young women these days, going to school or moving to new places in search of a new career or a better life in general. In some ways, she even motivated me to go head strong into my studies and work. Her strength exceeds that of so many fiction characters in the wonderful universe of books. She captures your heart and mind, and you’ll find that she does not let go, even after the third book is finished. You’ll be exposed to a whirlwind of emotions during the journey that is Binti.
“I couldn’t see the end of the corridor, so I stared at the entrance. The ship was a magnificent piece of living technology. Third Fish was a Miri 12, a type of ship closely related to a shrimp. Miri 12s were stable calm creatures with natural exoskeletons that could withstand the harshness of space. They were genetically enhanced to grow three breathing chambers within their bodies. Scientists planted rapidly growing plants within these three enormous rooms that not only produced oxygen from the CO2 directed in from other parts of the ship, but also absorbed benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. This was some of the most amazing technology I’d ever read about. Once settled on the ship, I was determined to convince someone to let me see one of these amazing rooms. But at the moment, I wasn’t thinking about the technology of the ship. I was on the threshold now, between home and my future.”
I highly recommend this trilogy to all fiction lovers, young adult readers, sci-fi explorers, and culture enthusiasts. I also suggest you purchase all three books at once. You will not want to wait for the next one. I have not read another series yet that was as definitive and powerful as this one. Thank you Nnedi Okorafor for the amazing story of Binti.