Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (June 2018)
In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means "Who Fears Death?" in an ancient African tongue.
Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny – to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture – and eventually death itself.
Kit's reaction: Ahhh I just love her writing so much!!!! I love things like slowly realizing this is a dystopian future, not a fictional past. I loved the flawed hero Onyesonwu, and how she subverts some of our expectations. I thought that she would be the first sorcerer to touch all four mystic points because she had actually been remade by the creator and that’s how she would beat her father and fulfill her destiny, but NOPE! Instead she did the one thing she wasn’t supposed to do, killed a bunch of people, and didn’t kill her father. And the rewriting of the Great Book turned out to be literal. I enjoy the feeling of a book expecting me to be smart enough to keep up with it and not explaining everything. Even though, like Onyesonwu, not having answers to all my questions is very frustrating.