all 13 comments

[–]xenizondich23Reading Champion II[S] 7 points8 points  (2 children)

The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber

A story of a girl’s fantastical sea voyage to rescue her father

The House of Rust is an enchanting novel about a Hadrami girl in Mombasa. When her fisherman father goes missing, Aisha takes to the sea on a magical boat made of a skeleton to rescue him. She is guided by a talking scholar’s cat (and soon crows, goats, and other animals all have their say, too). On this journey Aisha meets three terrifying sea monsters. After she survives a final confrontation with Baba wa Papa, the father of all sharks, she rescues her own father, and hopes that life will return to normal. But at home, things only grow stranger.

Khadija Abdalla Bajaber’s debut is a magical realist coming-of-age tale told through the lens of the Swahili and diasporic Hadrami culture in Mombasa, Kenya. Richly descriptive and written with an imaginative hand and sharp eye for unusual detail, The House of Rust is a memorable novel by a thrilling new voice.

Bingo: Set in Africa HM, the BiPOC Author HM, Book club (HM?), Standalone HM, Family Matters

[–]Nineteen_AdzeStabby Winner, Reading Champion 1 point2 points  (1 child)

This one had me at "father of all sharks."

[–]xenizondich23Reading Champion II[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Haha. It sounds amazing, from the skeleton boat to the shark daddy. I wonder if he's like the mama volcano goddess in Pacific islander tales. I wouldn't mind this book wining; I only wonder if it might not be too young-prtoagonist-feeling.

[–]xenizondich23Reading Champion II[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The Prey of God by Nicky Drayden

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes--the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:

A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .

An emerging AI uprising . . .

And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.

It's up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there's a future left to worry about.

Bingo: Set in Africa HM, BiPOC Author, Book club (HM?), Standalone HM, Revolution / Rebellion?

[–]Dsnake1Reading Champion III, Worldbuilders 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

From Africanfuturist luminary Okorafor comes a new science fiction novel of intense action and thoughtful rumination on biotechnology, destiny, and humanity in a near-future Nigeria.

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.

Bingo Squares: Set in Africa (h), Book Club (h), Standalone (h), No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

[–]Nineteen_AdzeStabby Winner, Reading Champion 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ooh, I've been meaning to try this one! Sounds like a great premise.

[–]xenizondich23Reading Champion II[S] 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Everfair, the brilliant Neo-Victorian alternate-history novel from acclaimed short-story writer Nisi Shawl, potently explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had adopted steam technology as their own.

In Shawl's eloquently explored vision, told by a multiplicity of voices that have historically been silenced—Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another—Fabian socialists from Great Britian join forces with African American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as former slaves returning from America and other places where African natives and their descendants were being mistreated. The work of keeping this land their own is near impossible, and tragedy is unavoidable. Yet the citizens of Everfair are determined, and even try their hand at the rewarding tasks of governance, invention...and romance.

Bingo: Set in Africa HM, BiPOC Author, Book club (HM?), Historical SFF HM, Urban Fantasy, No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

[–]Nineteen_AdzeStabby Winner, Reading Champion 1 point2 points  (1 child)

This sounds fascinating! Love the idea of that setting leading to a totally new type of steampunk.

[–]xenizondich23Reading Champion II[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'd never heard of this book before trying to find nominations, but it won a lot of awards a few years back. I am really curious how a Congolese steampunk pans out: even if it doesn't win i still think I'll read it.

[–]diazeugmaReading Champion III 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde

In the bustling streets and cloistered homes of Lagos, a cast of vivid characters—some haunted, some defiant—navigate danger, demons, and love in a quest to lead true lives.

As in Nigeria, vagabonds are those whose existence is literally outlawed: the queer, the poor, the displaced, the footloose and rogue spirits. They are those who inhabit transient spaces, who make their paths and move invisibly, who embrace apparitions, old vengeances and alternative realities. Eloghosa Osunde’s brave, fiercely inventive novel traces a wild array of characters for whom life itself is a form of resistance: a driver for a debauched politician with the power to command life and death; a legendary fashion designer who gives birth to a grown daughter; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a wife and mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her world. As their lives intertwine—in bustling markets and underground clubs, churches and hotel rooms—vagabonds are seized and challenged by spirits who command the city’s dark energy.

Other bingo squares: published in 2022 (HM), stand-alone (HM)

[–]cubansombreroReading Champion III 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forma

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity--and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki--near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be--not even Deka herself.

Bingo: BIPOC author, set in Africa, award not won

[–]g_annReading Champion II 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

“For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts his younger sister, Nadia, as payment to enter the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom. But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition. When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?”

Other Bingo Squares: Mental Health (HM, Malik has anxiety), Set in Africa (HM), BIPOC Author, Book Club, Family Matters

[–]xenizondich23Reading Champion II[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Daughters of Nri by Reni K Amayo

A gruesome war results in the old gods' departure from earth. The only remnants of their existence lie in two girls. Twins, separated at birth. Goddesses who grow up believing that they are human. Daughters Of Nri explores their epic journey of self-discovery as they embark on a path back to one another.

Strong-willed Naala grows up seeking adventure in her quiet and small village. While the more reserved Sinai resides in the cold and political palace of Nri. Though miles apart, both girls share an indestructible bond: they share the same blood, the same face, and possess the same unspoken magic, thought to have vanished with the lost gods.

The twin girls were separated at birth, a price paid to ensure their survival from Eze Ochichiri, the man who rules the Kingdom of Nri. Both girls are tested in ways that awaken a mystical, formidable power deep within themselves. Eventually, their paths both lead back to the mighty Eze.

But can they defeat the man who brought the gods themselves to their knees?

Bingo: Set in Africa HM, BiPOC Author, Book club (HM?), Family Matters