Two Sisters Are Torn Apart By War And Must Fight Their Way Back To Each Other In A Futuristic, Black Panther Inspired Nigeria.The Year Is 2172 Climate Change And Nuclear Disasters Have Rendered Much Of Earth Unlivable Only The Lucky Ones Have Escaped To Space Colonies In The Sky In A War Torn Nigeria, Battles Are Fought Using Flying, Deadly Mechs And Soldiers Are Outfitted With Bionic Limbs And Artificial Organs Meant To Protect Them From The Harsh, Radiation Heavy Climate Across The Nation, As The Years Long Civil War Wages On, Survival Becomes The Only Way Of Life Two Sisters, Onyii And Ify, Dream Of Their Lives Have Been Marked By Violence And Political Unrest Still, They Dream Of Peace, Of Hope, Of A Future Together.And They Re Willing To Fight An Entire War To Get There.Acclaimed Author Tochi Onyebuchi Has Written An Immersive, Action Packed, Deeply Personal Novel Perfect For Fans Of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, And Paolo Bacigalupi. I m ashamed to admit that I went into reading WAR GIRLS knowing almost nothing about the Nigerian Civil War that ravaged the country in the late 1960s, following a declaration of secession and resulting in the displacement and death by famine of countless millions I held my breath through much of this book It s the story of two sisters, Onyii and Ify, who find each other on opposite sides of a devastating war, and explores the way violence ripples through lives, particularly those of children innocents who should never have to watch their families die in front of them or be taught to hold guns bigger than they are It is brutal, action packed, and heartbreaking, and it is a masterpiece It takes an author of great skill to instill such hope, love, and humanity into a topic of such intimate emotional pain, as a child of a mother who survived the civil war that inspired the book I couldn t recommend it highly Please keep an eye out for this book to hit shelves October 15 clutches book to chest and strokes the cover lovingly whilst crooning under my breath all the love songs I can think of Received through Bookish com LOOK AT THIS GORGEOUS COVER This is going to be fucking amazing 3.5 5 stars .5 ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Set in a futuristic, Black Panther inspired Nigeria, War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi is the story of two sisters, Onyii and Ify, who despite being torn apart by war, dream of peace and a future where they can be together, and they re willing to do just about anything to make that happen This novel wastes no time jumping straight into the action When it comes to the first book in a series I m usually not the biggest fan of that, but I had no issues whatsoever following the plot of War Girls, and I thoroughly enjoyed Onyii and Ify s point of view s alike While I m definitely looking forward to seeing where the story goes I wasn t the biggest fan of the ending In fact up until the final quarter of this book I was unable to put it down, and then for reasons I am unable to get into because of spoilers I started to lose interest That being said I did come to care for the characters by the end, and I do think the sequel has the potential to be even better 29 3 19A scifi in Nigeria About two sisters and their bond WHAT My heart has dropped This is freaking awesome, maybe I am biased because I m Nigerian, but damn I love how there is so much diversity coming out in the literary world the past few years The young girl inside of me that dreamed of reading stuff like is squealing You can find me onYoutube Instagram Twitter Tumblr Website Black Panther inspired Nigeria adds to list The full review can be found at The Book Bratz I received an ARC of WAR GIRLS are BookExpo 2019 I met Tochi ass BookExpo this year and though I wasn t familiar with his previous works he was incredibly fun to talk to and was down to earth He was also super excited to talk with everyone who was on his signing line and made sure that everyone was able to have their moment to talk to him I didn t know about War Girls until the cover reveal and ever since then I KNEW that I just had to read this book Though I didn t love War Girls as much as I hoped I was going too, I still did enjoy the story can t wait to see where Tochi is going to take these girls next I read a lot of science fiction and having a person of color as the main character isn t something I have seen often, so it was really nice to see the representation in this novel and I hope it is something we start seeing of in science fiction Some of Tochi s inspiration for War Girls came from the Nigerian Civil War I admit, I know almost nothing about the Nigerian Civil War and this novel opened my eyes to a horrible period of time in the worlds history I enjoyed most of War Girls but I do feel like there were things that could have used a lot development The novel takes place in a ravaged country in 2172, there has been nuclear fall out, war, famine the landscape is radically different as well as technology War Girls falls heavily on technology and the advances it makes in becoming one with humans Every concept in War Girls was interesting and cool but I had a hard time picturing it I feel like there needed to be description and explanation to what things are I went back a few times to make sure that I didn t miss a description, but there really wasn t one There is a lot that I wasn t to talk about but I can t because I don t want to spoil any of War Girls for those who are looking forward to it Though I did have my few issues with War Girls I did really enjoy Onyii and Ify s story and can t wait to see what Tochi has in store for these girls next. Check out reviews Perspective of a WriterThe BuzzI read Tochi Onyebuchi s debut Beasts Made of Night and thought his African focused story was something the book community needed So when I saw he decided to make the plunge into a sci fi dystopia type of African story I knew I needed to check it out And the cover totally does it justice its gorgeous I m not a fan of live faces on covers but it totally works for this even though they could have taken it farther and given of Onyii s facial augments too And the title is spot on as well we totally go all warrior girls for this The PremiseWar Girls is a futuristic reimagining of the civil war between Biafra and Nigeria from the late 60s The author cements this war in real facts and tensions making the divide between Ify and Onyii so wide that I was a nervous wreck We see from both sides that civil war particularly is a messy and ugly affair However, it was hard for me to keep from picking a side And unfortunately the side I chose is not the side I was supposed to choose It s really odd to read and want the protagonist to fail But each page that passed made me believe and that Biafra was in the wrong.However the author disagrees He explains in his author s note where he was inspired to write War Girls and I can see why he chose to rewrite history I was really uncomfortable how Biafra acted in the war The War Girls seemed to have no problem with the ethics of what they were doing It seems that as long as its Africans who are enslaving a people its an okay practice In fact the abd were my favorite part of the story, a slave soldier whose history and emotions were wiped They successfully won my sympathy, particularly Agu.The villain of War Girls isn t clear until much later Hints are made about religion but it influencing or causing the divide in the country was never brought up I came to this conclusion due to certain religious mentions, scenes being included and the villains own remarks But because it wasn t explained how the religious elements influenced each side I wasn t influenced by these very realistic motivations The fact is I found the villain much sympathetic than the Biafrans Suddenly bringing up religion in the twist felt contrived instead of natural.The futuristic, war fraught world of War Girls is pretty incredible though Augments of arms, legs, eyes, recovery from terrible trauma to the body, new fuel sources that allow for mechs, using bodies to create slave soldiers, a network that reveals how every technology links together a really rich world with many fabulous ideas that were all necessary and pertinent to the story in War Girls I just wish I was rooting for the winner of the war and that steps were taken to show what both sides stood for.My ExperienceWar Girls has a magnificent start I thought for sure after part I that this would be a 5 star read for me I totally fell for Ify even with her doing these secretive things behind Onyii s back And Onyii s love for Ify totally won me over I was immersed in their war torn, earth ravaged, tech saturated world just from the War Girls camp When their world was torn apart my heart was ripped out with them This part felt like the best short story I d read with a powerful ending about the delicate balance there is in war.Then I started part II of War Girls I felt like I had to start all over Yeah, I still loved Onyii and Ify but everything was different The story had rebooted And I wasn t as enthralled by their situation It took a whole new setup for War Girls to capture me again and I admit I felt like the author jerked me around Why all the vignettes Start at the start In this short story I felt like I was on the wrong side It made reading War Girls super tiring The fact is I don t want to be so worn out reading that I want to stop reading By the time I started part III I realized I really hated this short story part I, II and III format Not enough was shown to us about the war for us to understand why each side was in the right or wrong according to the author We were just assumed to be on the protagonist s side of the war As characters started to die I became really bored The war ends for a stupid reason Suddenly characters are acting out of character Ify became a huge contrivance The end wasn t satisfying and came too fast I kept thinking that I wanted to understand and feel the war better.I think its really odd that this isn t a stand alone book To see that its the first of a series doesn t make sense since so many characters are dead And where does the story go from that end I didn t feel like much happened in part III If anything I think the war could have been expanded and the end of the war be the end of book 1 Then we get the aftermath in book 2 Cramming all of this into one book would only work well if War Girls was meant to stand alone.War Girls is a really ambitious futuristic reimagining of the civil war between Biafra and Nigeria and it doesn t quite work But Onyii and Ify will surely draw you in You ll want to see these sisters reunite and win the war the pacing is quick and tense so prepare to go on a wild technological ride Whether you enjoy the end or not will depend on who you root to win the war Authenticity Writing Style Plot Pacing World BuildingA Cover Title grade Thanks to BookishFirst and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog Perspective of a Writer Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews Please like this review if you enjoyed it bow bow It helps me out a ton It reeeeally bums me out to see people give up on War Girls or rate it poorly because they weren t familiar with the Nigerian Civil War and the history related to Biafra.Honestly, this reflects poorly on reviewers as a whole, given that the vast majority of GR reviewers and reviewers with this particular complaint are white and Western We need to do better.If you find yourself confused or disinterested simply because you re not familiar with the Nigeria Biafra conflict, before you DNF, try Skipping to the end page 459 in the US ARC and reading the author s note, which lays out the basics in 4 paragraphs Opening a second tab next to Goodreads and reading the first 2 3 paragraphs of the Wikipedia article on the Nigerian Civil War I m talking about literally 3 4 minutes learning the names of the nations at play and the premise of the conflict To be honest, I think the book reads fine even if you re new to the history The author tells you who is Nigerian and who is Biafran and what that basically means He even says in the author s note that this period of history isn t taught very much, so he s clearly expecting readers to come into War Girls with very little knowledge But if you feel that s an obstacle to your reading experience, fine that s what the internet is for For the record, I loved War Girls, but if I hadn t, it sure wasn t going to be because I didn t put in a minimum of effort There are lots of reasons War Girls might not be your thing it s not for everyone And I still have a few complaints about the writing, so rating it low because the flashback structure wasn t successful or the characters seemed underwritten to you wouldn t be unreasonable But that s not what I see happening I see people not giving it a chance.This is where we walk the walk, people If you say you want diverse voices, if you say you want untold stories, then you have to give them a fair chance A sci fi inspired by medieval Italy or the Cold War or whatever has the benefit of your built in familiarity with the real history especially if you re European or American If you actually want marginalized voices, you won t always get that benefit That s the entire point.Turning your nose up at putting in 3 minutes of background skimming so you can read an OwnVoices African history based book with the same level of engagement you d read a Eurocentric fantasy That really makes it sound like you don t actually want diverse voices, you just want the same exact thing you ve always read, just with a person of color in the author s picture This is what reading outside of your comfort zone means It means sometimes you have to google the name of that unfamiliar food or country or honorific or object And it means sometimes gasp you won t quite get everything I think my cursory research was enough for me to grasp the story Would I appreciate the book if I had real, deep education on the topic I m sure I would have I m sure there s a lot of nuance I missed Would Nigerian readers get from this book than I did Very likely But maybe that s okay Maybe I need to practice thinking of myself as a guest in the story rather than the primary audience Anyway here s my review of the actual book It s phenomenal, and I m so frustrated by the number of readers who not only won t give it a chance but will turn other readers away simply because they re unfamiliar with the background Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing an advance review copy of this title No money changed hands for this review and all opinions are my own.
- 464 pages
- War Girls (War Girls, #1)
- Tochi Onyebuchi
- 17 January 2018 Tochi Onyebuchi