Okay. Ooookay. I give this 3.5 stars.
First things first – the premise of this book is outstanding. The magic, the culture, the themes that are so painfully relevant to today…all of this is utterly astonishing.
There were snippets throughout the book that gave me chills. Made my heart race. Made me wish I had the ability to soothe all of the very real pain that gave this story its life.
Now…the bad. Adeyemi definitely has some strength to her writing. However, the plot felt jumbled, rushed, and a little like she tore through the story in her mind and never reeeaally went back to give it some much needed fattening up.
The amount of times I had to read “ugh!” and “agh!” made me wince a bit. As a fellow writer, I sympathize. One of my lovely professors pointed out to me that my characters tend to bite their lips a lot. He was shocked that they even had lips left (heh). Needless to say, I tore through my drafts and eradicated the offending phrase. I think Adeyemi’s go-to ugh’s and agh’s could have received the same treatment.
There is SO MUCH potential within this world. The characters deserve to be fully fleshed out more. I craved more languorous building – in both the world and the characters.
Overall, I struggled to keep up with the wild pace. Don’t misunderstand me – I love a hefty, fast-paced plot. But when it’s organized and solid. This book felt like it was missing some crucial pieces, like it was a train steaming down a mountain on broken tracks.
Again, the culture behind the world and the themes the author embedded within her work are excellent. Literature needs more of this kind of story. I think Adeyemi’s just figuring out her stride in her writing, in my unimportant opinion! I will definitely give book two a read one day.