Matt’s Reviews: Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

Book Cover: Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

  • ISBN:                  9780756416096
  •   Publication date: 11/16/2021
  •   Publisher:            PENGUIN PUTNAM TRADE
  •   Pages:                224
  •   Author:               Nnedi Okorafor

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor is another African-based science fiction novel from the author. Okorafor mixes traditions, cultures and technologies from the past, present and future to create new worlds and to open our eyes to different views of our own world.  She is master at crafting a universe for her stories that seems both familiar and futuristic. 

AO ( Anwuli Okwudili, artificial organism?) is a woman born with severe birth defects.  She also experienced a major accident that crippled her even further.  She has chosen to overcome these physical limitations through technological augmentation even though it causes her recurring pain as the technology interacts with the human tissue. This technology replacing her legs and one arm plus cranial implants gives her abilities beyond the normal human, but it also makes her an outcast from most other people.  When she is attacked for her differences by a group of men, it drives her to violence and to leave her isolated life and her home.

DNA is a herdsman who only wants to live a traditional nomadic life with his cattle.  Accused of being a terrorist, he is also forced to run.  Thrown together, the two try to stay ahead of the government and Ultimate Corp as they flee into the desert and the giant permanent sandstorm cyclone (the Red Eye) that envelopes a large part of Northern Africa. 

Okorafor writes beautifully.  She creates worlds that seem just around the corner from our own.  You can feel the history in this world of the not too distant future. You can understand the convenience as well as the concern for the ever present ‘Ultimate Corp’ that seems to offer ultimate convenience, but also ultimate monopolization of the markets. It feels like an extension of Amazon and other mega-companies and where they could lead (perhaps where they already are in some ways). 

The one area that I found just a bit bothersome was the explanations, or lack of explanations, of the technologies at play in the world. Some of AO’s capabilities later in the story are just described but not explained, and they seem unlikely capabilities.  Given a world with such embedded technology through much of the society, it seems she can navigate around this technology in ways that do not seem plausible if you think about it very much. That one, I can mostly accept as explainable as ‘new technology’ that exceeds expectations.  Near the end of the book, there is another major happening that seems to violate the laws of thermodynamics.  I had a little harder time with this one, but it does allow an acceptable resolution to the story.

Okorafor is a brilliant writer.  I love the way she creates worlds and societies and people and times.  I recommend Noor.   It is not a perfect book, but it is enjoyable and it is well worth your time to visit this near future Africa and these near future peoples.

Other recent reviews of Nnedi Okorafor books:


For a science-based science fiction story, Plastivore

Book Cover: Plastivore by Matt Truxaw



Please take a moment to support Amazing Stories with a one-time or recurring donation via Patreon. We rely on donations to keep the site going, and we need your financial support to continue quality coverage of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres as well as supply free stories weekly for your reading pleasure.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article


Next Article

JustWatch Asks: Do IMDB Ratings Affect A Show’s Popularity?

You might be interested in …