Winner of the 2016 Hugo and Nebula awards, nominee for the BSFA, BFA and Locus awards.
I always approach works that have been spoken of with this kind of hype cautiously. I am often disappointed. But I shouldn’t have worried. This was, flatly, excellent.
This is a creatively written story that speaks of alienation and finding commonality. It’s beautiful. Binti is not your usual space opera heroine. She’s not brave or strong in a bravado-based kind of way. Her strength is quiet, and much more simple, and comes from her desire to always do what she believes is right, in the best way she knows how. Pride is not an obstacle to her in this, although she does consider it.
Also, it’s not your usual space opera. I see influences from a variety of other sources. I find myself wondering if Octavia E. Butler‘s Xenogenesis trilogy was among them. Influenced by, but not defined by. This is not a rehash of Butler’s work. Okorafor has a completely different approach and conclusion to the idea of finding a way to communicate with an alien race.
I don’t think I can discuss any plot elements without spoiling the story for you, so I won’t. I will say that I recommend this to anyone who enjoys well-written science fiction, and I look forward to the sequels.