Author: Onyebuchi, Tochi
In 2172, when much of the world is unlivable, sisters Onyii and Ify dream of escaping war-torn Nigeria and finding a better future together but are, instead, torn apart.
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2019 *Starred Review* In a futuristic Nigeria torn asunder by civil war, catastrophic battles are fought using soldiers augmented with bionic limbs and artificial organs. Sisters Onyii and Ify find themselves on opposite sides of the war. Eldest sister Onyii is the practical one. She’s a caregiver and leader who will stop at nothing to see Ify have a better life. However, Ify doesn’t necessarily like being coddled. When a years-long civil war rips the sisters apart, they will do anything to fight their way back to each other. Onyebuchi (Beasts Made of Night, 2017) uses a sf setting to explore very heavy, real-world issues, like climate change, nuclear disasters, and child soldiers. Onyii and Ify both face horrors as children of war and live with the traumas induced by being exposed to such violence at a tender age. The story also explores bioaugmentation and what it means to be human while asking whether we should use a technology just because we have it. Onyebuchi makes up for the sluggish narrative start with his staggering, imaginative world, which immediately draws readers in and effortlessly makes them feel and root for its characters. This brilliant novel about sisters, war, and freedom should be in every sf collection. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 Gr 9 Up—Sisters Onyii and Ify find themselves on opposing sides of a brutal civil war in this Afrofuturist adventure set in 2172 Nigeria. Onyebuchi draws on the history of the Biafran War (also known as the Nigerian Civil War) of the 1960s and sets this story, inspired by actual events, against the backdrop of a futuristic world filled with sleek technology and brutal war machinery, including bionic modifications for child soldiers and mechanized battle suits. The shifting narration follows Onyii and Ify as well as other characters as they try to find their way back to each other, and themselves, during the war and in the tenuous peace that follows. The sense of happenstance or destiny that continues to bring Onyii and Ify together underscores the arbitrary nature of war and the costs that are paid by everyone in the line of fire. Onyebuchi's stark narrative is unflinching as he illuminates this little known, and sadly still timely, moment in history. Intense action scenes contrast sharply against an incisive criticism of the costs of senseless battle and the story's commentary on the powerful bonds that tie family together for better or worse. VERDICT A bleak but compulsively readable story with high action and high drama in equal measure. Perfect for fans of Paolo Bacigalupi's novels and the Pacific Rim films.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.