Black Panther is probably my favorite Marvel film I’ve seen, and I’ve been wanting to read Shuri by Nic Stone for a while. Luckily, I received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of it! Since this version is a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.
In Shuri, the princess of Wakanda and sister of Black Panther discovers that the heart-shaped herb, the superpower-endowing plant unique to her home, has been poisoned. With Challenge Day approaching for her brother, and an invasion threatening, Shuri takes it upon herself to discover what is behind this.
This adventure was okay. It doesn’t entirely match the canon laid out in the Black Panther film, but maybe it matches the comic books, but as I haven’t read those, I don’t actually know.
The writing seems a little too simplistic, even for a middle grade novel, although the dialogue seemed overly elevated. I know that Shuri is bright, but she doesn’t talk like she swallowed a dictionary in the film, so this seemed a strange choice. And the character development, while effective, was a little predictable for me. I also thought the addition of a random character from another film franchise (I won’t say who, to avoid spoilers) was a bit odd. Not bad, just odd.
That said, I really enjoyed being back in Wakanda, adventuring with my favorite character from there. Shuri’s knowledge of technology and science really shines, and it’s lovely to see a strong female character so involved in that field. In fact, she’s the best. Tony Stark can’t compete. Yes, I said it.
In the end, I don’t have too much to say about Shuri. Kids who liked her in the movies will enjoy this story, but the writing and dialogue didn’t entirely work for me. But still, we need more Wakanda, and more characters like Shuri, in this world. If you know a child interested in superheroes, this is definitely one to consider! And best of all, Shuri is available now!
Overall rating: 7.9/10
One final note: You will be missed, Chadwick Boseman. Long live the king.