My review for the Afrofuturism novel, Noor by Nnedi Okorafor
AO is part human, part cybernetics. She is an example of how far we’ve allowed technology to become us and we it. We have allowed technology by this futuristic date, to control everything in our lives. Sure, we’ve harnessed clean wind and solar energy but at what price? “Big Corporation” owns everything. The media is controlled and with enough money, lies can be bought as truth. Therefore, in many ways, it is Now (with more robots). Spoiler-not-so-spoiler alert: “Big Corporation” is the bad guy. Hiding truths, having secrets all for the advancement of profits for them. Not to those they have displaced. Not to the cultures they have murdered.
And in the middle of all this chaos, there is a love story between AO and a man called DNA. Tossed together by an odd stroke of fate, coincidence, or just dumb luck, the two take the concept of what is human, what is humanity, and how much should we accept technology and toss it on its head, butt and in your face. They expose not just themselves, but the world in which is around them. Whether or not they can pay the price is the real question.
The ending of the book is a “this is the end of this chapter but there is more.” The ending is a dirty screen door. You know there is something else, but you cannot see it. I am not sure if there will be a sequel, but I am hoping that there will not be. That might seem strange but since this is the future, we are not allowed to see what happens next. All we can hope for is this is a warning to us to not only be careful what we wish for, but careful what we do to get it.
Due to the situational violence, some language, sexual situations, and heavy drug use in a couple of places, this is not for your middle schooler and probably not for your grandmother. If you like a combination of science fiction, fantasy, cyberpunk, and fiction, then you should give it a read. I will say I am not a fan of the above genres, but I wanted to try something outside my comfort zone. So, there is that, too.