19 January 2015
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There's a lot to love about Lagoon. I love a first contact story, and this one decides destroying New York is overdone, so we're headed to Nigeria instead. It tosses a little wrinkle into an existing trope that works pretty well and perhaps masks some of the overall flaws.
The story effectively follows the impact the visit has on three characters, but quickly becomes more of an invasion story as we learn more about the area, the aliens, and the motives. The book's chief strength is this balance, and all the relevant characters feel fully formed, with interesting aliens as well.
If I have criticism, it's that the book does feel uneven at times, and the brutality of the third act is not something that is at all expected given the first two. There are reasons storywise why this is the case, and readers better versed in the culture and politics of Nigeria may see some parallels that I missed, but better preparation might have blunted that a bit.
Overall, though,a pretty good science fiction book. I somehow got a British release of it from the library, so I'm not sure when this will hit US shores, but it's definitely worth a look.
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