By Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
In a not-to-distant future in West Africa, fourteen-year-old Ejii possesses strange powers brought on by the environmentalist bombs that were dropped before she was born. With the ability to speak to shadows, Ejii is among the superhumans mistrusted by much of humanity, including her own father. Ejii’s father wants the world to return to the old ways, where men are in power and women are subservient. However, after witnessing her father’s death at the hands of a powerful female Ejii is torn. Should she trust herself and her powers, or should she try to follow her father’s wishes? Soon Ejii sets out on a journey to find her father’s murderer, but in the process she discovers her own purpose and abilities beyond her wildest imagination.
Set in an area of the world that many of us know little about, this teen novel grapples with some big issues: prejudice vs. acceptance, political and social suppression vs. justice, and peaceful vs. violent change. However, it is Ejii’s development and growing friendship with those she meets on her travels that will engage most readers.
Reviewed by Melendra