Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Publisher: Tor.com (January 18, 2021)
Kindle edition, 160 pages
Science Fiction, Adult Science Fiction, Novella
“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.”
The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa–a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.
Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.
But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?
This is an amazing sci-fi novella that reads a lot like an old folktale. If you’re into very science-y sci-fi, this might be a bit off-putting to you as it doesn’t read like hard sci-fi and more walks like line between sci-fi/fantasy. If you love myths, legends, and folklore, then this book is DEFINITELY up your alley! This was the first book I’ve read by Nnedi Okorafor, but you’d better believe immediately upon finishing I went an added most of her backlist to my TBR!
The storytelling and imagery are so masterful and beautiful, I devoured this book all in one gulp. It opens with Sankofa walking into a town and the fearful villagers pretending they’re not home. It’s a bit confusing at first, but we’re quickly pulled back to the true beginning of Sankofa’s story to learn her origins and how she came to become Sankofa, “Death’s Adopted Daughter.” I love how REAL Fatima, who later becomes Sankofa, feels. The world building is incredible and I felt like I was there, walking barefoot down the dusty road with Sankofa, searching for something just out of reach.
I do wish we’d gotten a bit more about LifeGen and the more sci-fi elements of the story, but the way it’s written it’s sort of left up to the reader to draw their own conclusions – and in some ways that’s even more chilling! All in all this is an amazing novella, and I can’t wait to read more by Nnedi Okorafor.
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.