Book Review | Remote Control (ARC)

I received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of Remove Control by Nnedi Okorafor. Since this version is just a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.

Sankofa has wandered rural Ghana for years, ever since Death visited her town when she was seven. Because of her dangerous powers, she is practically part of the local folklore now, rumored to be the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Now, she is searching for the object that caused her to be this way, but she is beginning to wonder what she is really meant to do with her existence.

This was an unusual read for me; I’ve never read anything like it before, nor have I read this author before, though I’ve heard of her. And it was a cool novella overall, but I was also kind of confused.

Sankofa is a fascinating character, shown at first to be a powerful, terrifying force, but then gradually revealed to be a fragile, wounded girl who had a mysterious supernatural ability thrust upon her. There are other characters, like Alhaja and Movenpick, who are also great, but Sankofa’s really the star.

Since I went into this having almost no idea what to expect after picking it up on a whim, I couldn’t predict what would happen next. The blend of science-fiction-y almost alien technology with a slightly futuristic world with a tale of survival in a harsh environment makes for a really interesting story. Unfortunately, I feel like I can’t say much more without getting into spoiler territory.

The ending confused me a little, but was also a really compelling and powerful conclusion, if that makes sense. I feel like I just wasn’t smart enough for this book, but it was also really good. In the end, the writing is beautiful, the settings are vividly described, the protagonist is fantastic, and the plot strange but intriguing. I’m not sure how I feel about it totally, because I had some trouble with this one, but I would definitely be willing to read more by Okorafor in the future!

Overall rating: 8.5/10

Remote Control will be published on January 19th, 2021!

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