“Human beings make terrible gods.” (p.162)
Every now and then, a story comes along that just seems to push all the right buttons at the right time. Nnedi Okorafor’s The Book of Phoenix is that book. In my opinion it’s a fantastic story that deserves to be read by as many people as possible. I’ve been waiting to read a book this good since I started my blog.
*[Spoiler Warning: Providing a synopsis of this book is difficult without revealing some of the plot. Read on at your own risk.]*
The book opens with a frame narrative that reminded me of the first part of A Canticle for Leibowitz. Years after a great catastrophe, an old man finds “a cave full of computers” in the desert. Within these dated artifacts lies an audio file which contains an extract of The Book of Phoenix, narrated by a woman with a “soft breathy voice […] like a powerful incantation.” (p.5)
“To tell my tale, I will use the old African tools of story: Spoken words. They are worthier of my trust and they’ll last longer.” (p.5)