I was super excited to read this book even though I had to wait for my local library to order it. Well worth the wait! I adored Akata Witch and Nnedi Okorafor has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I can always connect with her characters.
“You don’t have to explain. It’s OK to care about what other people think, but you should give a little weight to what you, yourself, think.”
In Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor (308 pages), Zahrah’s fourteen and Dada, so she doesn’t fit in well at the Kirki village of the Ooni Kingdom. Her Dada heritage gives her long dreadlocks embedded with plants and an undeveloped wind power. Because Ooni people are so image-conscious, she sticks out like a snake with fingers. After Zahrah gets her first period (menstruation cycle), her wind powers begin to fully develop. Through a series of events surrounding the forbidden Greeny jungle, Zahrah’s best friend Dari gets injured. The cure for Dari’s comatose state is in the jungle, and this is where the story truly begins. I felt so bad for Zahrah in the jungle like why did my baby have to go through so much pain?
Another quote I like, taken from when Zahrah was on her journey:
“Look at you. You’re just as strange and misunderstood as the jungle. It’ll welcome you, I’m sure of it.”
As much as I like romance, I love the fact that the story is dedicated to Zahrah’s growth as a character. That’s not to say there aren’t any adorable hints thrown in.
I love the names, Zahrah and Dari, they are so pretty!
I also enjoy the fantasy elements. Flower computers! Zahrah has a lot of plant technology in her world. A person can plant a seed and water it to grow a computer. Very imaginative.
I could tell early on that I would like this book. Black people in a fantasy setting? Adorable characters? An innocent friendship? Nnedi is cruel; She wants me to buy this book and parade it on my bookshelf.
What did I dislike? Hmm… If I had to nitpick, the ending could be considered a bit anticlimactic. Also, certain stuff at the hospital was dragged out a little long.
Zahrah! I completely sympathize with her. She’s an adorable crybaby, who doesn’t yet know her potential. Her journey is not only through the Greeny jungle, but to grow more confident. She’s my fictional baby! Zahrah has a real “aww ” factor.
Dari, the best friend, is my favorite. He’s a middle-school activist, who has a talent for talking. The village people and everyone at Dari (and Zahrah)’s school hang onto his every word. Since he found an interest in Zahrah, as a bold little kid, the two have been friends ever since.
I like the mentor angle Nsibidi provides for Zahrah. She’s one cool chick! I almost wish she had been featured more.
The simplest characters, like the frog, all play an important part in the story and Zahrah’s life.
Read this. Read this. Read this.
I liked this book a lot and will add it to my bookshelf when I get some extra cash.