Book Reviews

Review: Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

I have always associated Nnedi Okorafor with science fiction. I first read Binti and have been obsessed ever since. So when I read Remote Control earlier this year, my love of Okorafor was just renewed. I knew I had to read Noor. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt…natural, and that’s putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was wrong. But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that disabled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world views it, as freakish, unnatural, even the work of the devil, AO embraces all that she is: A woman with a ton of major and necessary body augmentations. And then one day she goes to her local market and everything goes wrong.

Once on the run, she meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA and the race against time across the deserts of Northern Nigeria begins. In a world where all things are streamed, everyone is watching the reckoning of the murderess and the terrorist and the saga of the wicked woman and mad man unfold. This fast-paced, relentless journey of tribe, destiny, body, and the wonderland of technology revels in the fact that the future sometimes isn’t so predictable. Expect the unaccepted.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

One of my favorite elements of Noor has to be the world building. Okorafor always has a great world building seed. That kernel of an idea which the entire book revolves around and only expands throughout the story. For Noor I loved how in this high tech world her body modifications make others see her as a ‘demon’. That there’s this line of ‘too much’. And where does that line for us, for society, for our family? But aside from the fantastic and thought provoking world building (especially all the corporation politics!!) I loved the characters.

I knew I was going to love AO. I love how fiery she is, how strong, but also how much she is shaped by her past. By the treatment of her family, by the circumstances of her accident, and by the world’s scorn. At the same time, I found DNA’s character fascinating. The ways their positions seem so different on paper, but how they are united by their places as “outsiders”. All of their interactions made for a gripping character dynamic. And finally, what I loved in Noor were the twists and turns.

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Noor is a story of sand sun. Okorafor examines the manipulation of truth and perspective. All the ways good words are misused by bad intentions. And the moments when cruel intentions take over the narrative. Noor explores the personal and the political to fight corporate control. How bodies become battle grounds. Each time that our own survival has become a fight for existence. Find Noor on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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