Reviews

The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor

gtbenathan's review

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4.0

Much better than book 2, not nearly as good as book 1. It's solid, but I don't know if it's great by any means. I would suggest it for people that really love afrofuturism or specifically adored the first Binti book. There are better ones out there, but this was enjoyable.

degroot_maartje's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

3.75

dead_unicorn's review

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3.0

I didn't like this one as much as the first two, this one was really out there. It felt rushed and not everything made sense but over I think it was a pretty good series.

mnsundgaard's review

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adventurous tense slow-paced

3.0

transplanet's review

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3.0

The ending of this book made me sad. I really loved the Binti series, and I totally fell in love with Binti, but the ending felt rushed to conclude some (but not all) of the plotlines. I would have loved to see a reunion with Binti's family and any kind of reconciliation, or any consequences or understanding of who killed Binti and why. Overall I loved it!

badmc's review

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2.0

War is looming on the horizon. Can Binti, struggling with her ancestry, PTSD, and death, try to broker for peace?

.. This felt like some entity took over author's body and written the second part of the novel. Stuff gets thrown in, everything is explained, not shown, Binti becomes Mary Sue, gazillion new characters are introduced, there is sudden! romance, and.. it felt like some weird fan-fiction. No character depth, plot was all over the place...

I give up. I should've read just the first book. The only thing that saves this from 1 star treatment is first half of the book - before everything went off to cuckoo land.

jahshwah's review against another edition

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3.0

Went off the rails compared to the first two.

Of course her whole family isn't dead. Of course she isn't going to single-handedly convince long warring societies to lay down their arms with a brief speech that essentially insults all parties. Of course Binti isn't dead. Then for some strange reason she doesn't tell her family she's alive nor is she eager to see them when she finds out they're not all dead. This is a series where I think you could read the first novella and call it a day.

avachristinem's review

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

jdhaliwal's review

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5.0

The worldbuilding achieved is phenomenal, especially when one accounts for the limited page count. I'm devastated that the journey is over, as I want to know more of Binti's world and the adventures that await her!!

luminositylibrary's review

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2.0

I was hopeful for the third instalment of Binti despite not enjoying the second book much, but this one is even worse. With an all-over-the-place plot, a dry unnecessary romance, awkward non-satisfying resolutions to mysteries and making Binti even more special than she already is. It was a slog to get through and now that I've finished I don't think I should have bothered. The only reason I'm rating this a two is the themes of identity, especially surrounding being multi-racial and defying the norms of your culture, are important.

War is brewing in Binti's village and she rushes home across a desert to help them. The elders of her village don't trust her and she mistakenly believes wars can be solved with some strong words. And... that's basically all that happens. The rest of the book is just her sorting some stuff out.

I'm glad that PTSD is represented. I'm glad that the emotional toll of the events on Binti is discussed. The problem is that in a short book having your main character have a breakdown every few pages gets tiring incredibly quickly. Instead of making me feel for her situation I became emotionally disconnected with annoyance at her rolling on the floor screaming 'noooo'. There are other ways to weave mental health into a narrative instead of relying on constant emotional breakdowns. Don't get me wrong, a couple here and there? Totally fine! As it is, it's over the top.

The random romance in this? I'm a sucker for romance but it was completely dry and unnecessary. I didn't feel anything, I didn't understand it, I have no idea why it was included. There was no chemistry at all. I think adding a romance in could have been okay if there had been effort to build up a relationship instead of just shoving Binti into the first available boy's arms.

This book does confront all of the mysteries of the last two but it does so in an unsatisfying way. A lot of the reveals seem random, they don't explain things well, and they act to take some of the magic out of the universe. This is one of the rare occasions where I wish mysteries had been left as mysteries.

Another issue I had is that it had no plot. It felt like the book was so focused on wrapping up loose ends that it didn't do anything. It focused on the same issues as the last but making them Bigger and Worse and with less of a plot. I don't think this needed to be a series. I enjoyed the first Binti but these sequels have made it go downhill.

On that note, I loved Binti the character in the first book. She was intelligent and brave and empathetic and interesting. The constant need to make Binti's trauma fresh, to make her 'more' has ruined her in my eyes. I have a very high tolerance for special characters, in fact, I often enjoy them. This goes too far. Binti's the only one who can talk to these people because of her special artefact she found, because she's a special master harmonizer, and she's not just a Himba, but also Enyi Zinariya, and also Meduse, and also something else, and also etc. etc. etc. She's just a special person that keeps getting special-er at the detriment of her character.

It is an incredibly inventive universe that Okorafor has created that had a lot of potential. It's interesting and some parts of it I love. I love that Binti is a black woman as it's so important to have more varied protagonists, especially in SFF. I love that culture is discussed so heavily as that's another aspect often brushed aside. I love that there's an investigation into the difficulties of having a multi-cultural identity and knowing who you are. I just wish these themes were more strongly focused upon in this novel.

I found this book incredibly boring and it was disappointing. Binti is still worth a read, the first in the series is brilliant, I just wish it continued that way.