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Ikenga (2020)

– tekijä: Nnedi Okorafor

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
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näyttää 4/4
Nnamdi's father, the chief of police, has been murdered and his killer has not been discovered or brought to justice. Nnamdi is consumed with grief, anger and helplessness. One year later, he is approached by the ghost of his father and given a figurine called an Ikenga. The Ikenga allows Nnamdi to become something like a superhero as he thwarts local criminals and tries to solve the mystery of his father's murder. Along the way, he learns that the assumptions he has made are not always true and that life and crime are complex. He also learns to value his friends and loved ones. The story is well paced with lots of action and suspense. I enjoyed the imaginative descriptions of the small Nigerian town and its people. The nicknames of some of the characters are very creative and funny. ( )
  PennyOlson | Sep 7, 2020 |
I thought this was going to be a graphic novel since it's about a superhero of sorts, but it was text only. And maybe because the text was written down to a middle school crowd, I found the whole book dreadfully dull to read.

Starting off with nods to Hamlet and Shazam, an 11-year-old Nigerian boy follows the ghost of his murdered father and ends up with the ability to become a powerful seven-foot-tall adult. He intends to use his power to break the crime ring that probably killed his police chief dad, but his new alter ego is very angry and not easily controlled, more Hulk than Captain Marvel.

The story slowly unfolds in odd, and unlikely ways that left me grinding my way to the end instead of being swept along. ( )
  villemezbrown | Aug 23, 2020 |
Recommended: yes!
For a tale of morality and control in the face of darkness and hatred, for a superhero/antihero combo that's exciting and thought provoking

Thoughts:
A perfect example of having greatness thrust upon him, Nnamdi fights between what is vengeance and what is justice with his newfound powers. I love having a main character who is flawed and conflicted, but whom you like nonetheless because you can see him doing his best to make sense of the world he lives in. Coming-of-age is a lot more complicated when you're granted otherworldly powers and a conscience for justice.

The darkness is this story comes from a point of human and political issues -- crimes we committ upon each other. Murder, theft, abuse, and all kinds of other atrocities based in selfishness are endemic in Kaleria for Nnamdi. So while there is violence of people being killed or beaten up or kidnapped, it's never turned into a gory style. The horror is more mental for imagining the reality of the situations happening.

I loved the folklore aspects of ghosts and the totem that conveys the powers: the Ikenga. The cultural connections to the Igbo were made clear in a subtle way that added to rather than distracted from the story. It was the same with their daily life. The descriptions of food were mouthwatering and made me start googling if I could get any around here. And once I got the explanation of what a go-slow was, I felt silly for not having guessed it immediately. After all, Boston is the worst place in the US for them!

Thanks to Bookishfirst and Penguin for a free copy in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  Jenniferforjoy | Aug 18, 2020 |
4 stars
*Thank you to BookishFirst and Penguin Random House for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect since this is a middle grade book but seeing on how I still read books by Rick Riordan, I didn't think it would be a much of a problem.
The book starts off at the main characters father's funeral, who has been murdered, immediately showcasing a catacomb of corruption that is ingrained in the town. I was surprised by the mature themes and how it still felt like a child could comprehend it without being overwhelmed.
The characters were interesting, though a bit one dimensional. Honestly I didn't see one of the twists with one of them which was a pleasant surprise and I think will be to most readers.
Now for the cons;
I think the pacing was choppy at points, can be a bit jarring and is rushed at times. It could have done with being a bit longer and drawn out but this is a middle grade book so that might not have been an option.
All in all, not much to complain about.
Overall, Ikenga is a richly woven book brimming with a vibrant culture and interesting characters that spring to life through expertly written dialogue.
I would recommend this to adults and children alike if they like superhero and coming of age stories. ( )
  Redlikeroses | Aug 12, 2020 |
näyttää 4/4
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Tärkeät tapahtumat
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. - David Banner from The Incredible Hulk television series
Omistuskirjoitus
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Nnamdi didn't want to look at his father's body in the casket, so he looked at the side of his mother's face instead.
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