Review: Remote Control, Nnedi Okorafor

Review: Remote Control, Nnedi Okorafor

Book cover of Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor, girl with big ear-rings and tree-like pattern on face.

While an entertaining story, it failed to grab me. It started off strong, but then wandered about without ever reaching a climax or resolution, leaving me wondering what the point of any of it was. It's mostly a narrative summary of events as the main character goes through her (admittedly bizarre) life. While horrible things happen to and around her, she doesn’t seem to be all that shaken by those events. The events are drily relayed and labelled. We don’t learn much of what truly motivates her, why she makes the choices she makes. Honestly, we don’t learn much of anything that’s going on in this story, just that it’s going on.

This title did not meet my expectations in several ways. For one, it’s quite steeply priced. For the price of a big fat novel, what I got was a novella. Second, it is marketed as science fiction, but there was very little science in it. Last but not least, there were various inconsistencies or contrived circumstances that undermined my suspension of disbelief.

What it has going for it is the scenery. It’s a different setting than the majority of books, and that alone made it worth reading. That and the strong start. If the rest of the novella had delivered on the strong beginning, this might have developed into a four or five star story. I did enjoy reading it but I wasn’t as blown away as the hype around this title had me hoping for.

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