Binti: The Night Masquerade
June 24, 2019 7:12 AM - by Nnedi Okorafor - Subscribe

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.
posted by dinty_moore (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Thinking back on these books months after finishing, I wish this series had been one novel all together. Parts 2 and 3 didn't feel substantial enough to stand on their own.

From my notes on Goodreads, which are a more immediate impression:

The good:
-New Fish is cool, and I like the concept of ships as intelligent organic beings with opinions.
-How Binti's new identities interacted with her home culture and how Dele and her family came around to accepting and admiring her for it. Though that could have used more development.
-The glimpses of Oomza Uni we got again.
-The glimpses of the Enyi Zinariya culture and the origins.

The meh:
-Very choppy character development. A lot of Binti's actions didn't make sense to me. One minute she's at peace with how she's grown and changed, and the next she has tantrums about it and PTSD flashbacks. It makes sense that she wouldn't resolve everything in a straight line, but the back and forth felt so rapid it was jarring. Maybe that's the nature of PTSD though?
-Undoing the emotional stakes. First Binti's whole family is dead, or is it just a conclusion she rashly jumps to? Oh look, they're alive! Now Binti is dead. Oh wait, no she's not!
-From the romance, to the brief truce Binti achieves, to the war, to a space journey and the answer on what the edan is, it felt like the story crammed in too many things and didn't let them breathe. It's an interesting story with lots of interesting bits, but in the end they just didn't feel coherent to me.

So I guess I like the world and setting a lot, but character and plot left me unsatisfied.
posted by j.r at 9:35 AM on July 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I feel a little bad about not commenting after posting, but I also felt like I didn't have very much to say about this novella by itself. I get why it was nominated, kind of - as part of a trilogy it's pretty good, but it feels like kind of a weak ending.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:42 AM on July 12, 2019

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