- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 10 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: January 9, 2018
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B078JG38VX
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Binti: Home: Binti, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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You might recall that Binti was one of my two favorite works of science fiction of last year. It was evocative. Beautiful. Frightening. Most importantly, it was different. It managed to pack an incredible and vibrant world, a complex and compelling protagonist, and a spectacular plot into a fairly short piece of fiction. It told a story that could have easily fallen into the category of sci-fi tropes, but it avoided them by applying a unique voice and perspective through Binti, it’s main character.
Binti: Home finds Binti after about a year at Oomza University. A year after she heroically (and accidentally, if I recall correctly) brokered peace between two warring planets. A year after she left home in the dead of night, against the wishes of her family and community, to study what is essentially mathemagics off-world. Binti’s experiences have changed her enormously—represented by a physical transformation: her dreaded hair has become like the tentacles of the jellyfish-like Meduse.
The physical change is a vital piece of the story, not an on-the-nose metaphor for the internal changes in Binti. Much is made of physical appearances in Binti’s world, from the red clay she adorns herself with to the tribal intolerance she suffers at the hands of the upper class on Earth (and at Oomza U), and to the seemingly strange behaviors of the “desert people” that Binti’s tribe finds less-than-worthy of a seat at the table.
As Binti is a story of perseverance and growth in the face of different types of adversity, Binti: Home is a story about shedding preconceived notions and inbuilt intolerances; about how experience inexorably changes us, and changes how the world sees us. The events of Binti were, for the most part, things that happened to Binti. In Binti: Home, she is confronted by the reality that despite her lack of agency or choice in most of the things that happened to her, she is blamed. She is mistrusted. She is made a pariah.
The things that happen to us leave a mark. Sometimes, it’s subtle. Sometimes, it’s as dramatic as having tentacles for hair. Binti: Home explores the intersection between changing personal identity and changed external perception. It’s a fascinating, emotionally resonant exploration of an eminently relatable condition, couched within beautiful prose and a once-again spectacular plot.
Nnedi Okorafor has once again left me deep in thought. While Binti: Home wasn’t as explosive a read for me as its predecessor, it was nevertheless a spectacular book. Nnedi Okorafor’s storytelling is masterful, and she has made a lifelong fan of me with Binti and Binti: Home. I eagerly await the next installment of Binti’s story.
This is excellent and well-crafted science fiction that blends together mind-bending technology, space travel, aliens, mathematics, family, and a young girl growing up and trying to find her place in the world. Okorofor's prose moves the tale along swiftly and surely, and there are moments of beauty, as well - especially towards the end when Binti encounters some family members she didn't even know existed... The ending is a cliff-hanger that left me clamouring for more, and I can't wait to read the third and final installment of Binti's story.
The sequel brings a little more richness, and the characters and culture are more believable, but it still falls flat. Literally. If the author delved more deeply into her characters instead of simply pushing the plot forward, I think her writing would be very interesting at least.
Initially I was disappointed that more time wasn’t spent at Oomza Uni as Binti and the Medusa Okwu return to Binti’s home early in the book. In the original “Binti”, while clearly sci fi with the existence of aliens and space travel, the scenes of Binti’s home were far removed from that and set in a very old, traditional culture. However, like the original, Binti, her family and culture were just as fascinating as any alien world. At first it seemed that the story would be focused entirely on the culture and family but gradually and artfully developed into full-fledged sci fi with the background filling in.
The story kept me enrapt but I did have one issue- a cliffhanger ending. I dislike those so much that it would normally ruin the book for me. But I enjoyed the story so much I have to forgive it :)
Most recent customer reviews
a young woman of color as the heroine. I’d love more stories about Binti!