Akata Warrior
by Okorafor, Nnedi

A sequel to Akata Witch finds a marginalized but increasingly powerful Sunny chosen to lead a dangerous mission to stop an apocalyptic plot by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Simultaneous eBook.

Nnedi Okorafor is a novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism for both children and adults. Born in the United States to Nigerian immigrant parents, Nnedi is known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. In a profile of Nnedi's work, the New York Times called Nnedi's imagination "stunning." Nnedi has received the World Fantasy Award, the Hugo Award, and the Nebula Award, among others, for her novels. Her fans include Rick Riordan, John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Ursula K. Le Guin among others.

Nnedi Okorafor holds a PhD in English and is a professor at SUNY Buffalo. She divides her time between Buffalo and the suburbs of Chicago, where she lives with her daughter. Learn more at nnedi.com or follow her on Twitter @nnedi.

*Starred Review* This highly anticipated sequel to Akata Witch (2011) begins a year after Sunny unearthed secrets pertaining to her heritage and joined the secret Leopard Society. Plagued by strange dreams, Sunny endeavors to increase her magical powers by studying with her demanding mentor, and she continues to grapple with secrets that lie within her peculiar and wondrous Nsibidi book. However, the fate of humanity rests on her shoulders and time is not a luxury she has. Soon, she must step into her destiny and fight a looming, apocalyptic battle. If she loses or isn't up to the task, it will spell catastrophe for all. While the story's beginning is a bit jarring and doesn't immediately sweep you away, the feeling is fleeting. A few chapters in, the reader gets tangled up in Sunny's journey in the most delicious of ways. The lush world and high-stakes plot are fun, imaginative, timely, and authentic. Sunny as a character is beautiful, strong, and resilient, and her host of friends and allies are well-drawn and compelling, adding to the magic of the story. Okorafor's novel will ensnare readers and keep them turning pages until the very end to see if and how Sunny fulfills the tremendous destiny that awaits her. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

A soccer-loving, American-born Nigerian 13-year-old matures into her mystical powers.A few years after her Igbo parents brought their children to live in Nigeria (Akata Witch, 2011), Sunny Nwazue had learned she belonged to the mystical Leopard People. Now she alternates among regular school; Leopard training with her teacher, Sugar Cream; training with her magical alter ego spirit face; and hiding her secret life from her parents and brothers. Sunny is albino, though her magic has eliminated most disabling effects aside from a need to wear glasses. A superstitious bigot accuses Sunny (who does draw supernatural power from her albinism) of being a witch; as albino Nigerians suffer genuine harm from such accusations, the truth in this attack strikes a discordant note. The magic appears influenced by Igbo religious practices in Sunny's diverse Nigeria, populated by Muslims and Christians, where Sunny and her African-American and Nigerian friends learn magic and eat in Uzoma's C hinese Restaurant. Sunny's been having strange nightmares, possibly tied to new environmental disasters. An oracle explains that these dreams are prophetic and sends her and her friends to a magical city populated with spirits who chat on cellphones. Much like their magical world, it's "simultaneously ancient and modern West African." It's a hefty tome for a middle school read, but Sunny's an inviting character who keeps the pace moving. A charming adventure stocked with a house-sized spider, an Afro comb gifted by a goddess, and a giant flying rodent-one who loves hip-hop. (Fantasy. 11-14) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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