Noor by Nnedi Okorafor was a fabulous treat. With each turn of the page, the story unfolds, revealing layers of mystery and intrigue.
“Noor” introduces us to a world where technology and magic coexist in an uneasy balance. Set in a futuristic African city, the story revolves around the life of the titular character, AO, a young woman with a special ability to see and manipulate the threads of fate. From the very beginning, Okorafor skillfully draws us into AO’s world, a place where ancient traditions intertwine with modernity and where the line between reality and the supernatural blurs.
It begins with AO nursing a broken heart. Her man left her, and she drives to the market to get what she needs to make herself a feast, a feast to forget him. The story starts so ordinary, but it doesn’t stay that way. There was surprise after surprise as the story skillfully unfolds.
I absolutely loved this story and highly recommend it.
Here’s the blurb:
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.