The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor Book Review

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Phoenix is a speciMen; a woman created in a lab by an evil corporation called LifeGen. Phoenix is 2 years old but looks 40 and has acquired 100 years of knowledge during her brief existence. She can read a 500 page book in 2 minutes and is in love with a man called Saeed who has been genetically manipulated to eat glass, sand and rust so that he can be the perfect weapon to execute survivors after an area had been bombed. They live in Tower 7 in New York, a home, a laboratory or a prison?

Phoenix starts to have hot flushes where she sets fire to things, it happens especially when she is emotional about something. When her boyfriend Saeed commits suicide Phoenix is driven to escape, and in doing so discovers that she is a literal Phoenix; she causes massive destruction bringing down Tower 7 and killing herself in the process only to be reborn.

Phoenix realises that her whole existence is a lie and she has been created to be a weapon; she must take down LifeGen and free the other speciMen. Phoenix can only focus on one thought – vengeance.

This could be a really good book,the story is interesting, especially the science fiction elements, but it’s just so angry and preachy. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be angry. The protagonist could be a good strong character, but she goes full on extremist/terrorist tarring all westerners with the same brush. I know I am probably going to get a lot of negative comments for saying that, but this is my honest opinion and I am going to back it up with the below quotes from the book:

“this entitlement swagger was something white men from every part of the world has when in rural Africa”

“I can burn it and the rest of this remorseless city to ash. They made me here. I will be exactly what they wanted. Since no one else seeks revenge for all that the Big Eye (LifeGen) have done, I will. Let me be the villain for the sake of justice”

Phoenix has gone through a lot of bad stuff, so you can understand her thirst for revenge, but there seems to be no filter, she wants to take everyone out. I really disliked this novel I’m sorry to say. I found Phoenix to be incredibly unlikeable apart from a few gestures of kindness to her adopted village in Ghana and fellow speciMen.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Cheerio!

Stephanie Xxx

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3 thoughts on “The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor Book Review

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