“What was home? Where was home?”
All the magic of Okarfora’s imagination but the storytelling is not as good as her norm. The magic of a novella is its sharper focus, compared to a novel, while allowing fuller character and plot development than a short story. Instead this story is merely the first part of a larger whole. If it’s to be big, go big.
“Why didn’t I ever want to do what I’m supposed to do?”
Feels dashed off. The felicity of expression of her earlier works is missing. Some phrases down right clunky. “I stepped into the field of … that grew in the field ….” “Something red caught my eye on the security guard’s uniform.” Caught my eye on his uniform? Ouch.
“Change was constant. Change was my destiny. Growth.”
Excellent example of in medias res. A whole lot had happened to Binti after the close of Binti and before the opening of Home. First-time readers of Okorafor might think all the references were to that first story. Oh, no, those are hooks to draw you into this story. Good world and character development. Nice cover art.
“Sometimes the obvious is too obvious.”
I like everyman protagonists. Binti is that in the best way. She is everywoman, but in the course of her story she becomes superwoman. Part of her quest is acquiring a mentor; another part is losing her.
“I felt the pain and glory of growth.”
Unfortunate name choice of the university planet. Every time I saw Oomza I couldn’t help but think Ozma.
“It was no good to feel this pleased with life.”