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An Attractive Man Monday: Dan Kelly in Barracuda

Monday 1 December 2014

Dan Kelly in Barracuda page 174

Barracuda

‘There’s no sun here.’

Of course Luke is startled, he doesn’t understand.

I try to explain. ‘Even in the yard, when it’s day, when the sun is shining and the sky’s blue, I don’t believe it is the real sun. It’s another sun altogether.’

These words only make Luke sadder but I am glad that I have worked them through, that I have revealed the truth to myself. I am in another solar system, another galaxy. That’s where I am.

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WIN copies of The Ark by Annabel Smith and Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

LiteraryBlogHopNovember

 

This competition is closed. Thank you for entering.

This is the first time I have participated in this Blog Hop and I am excited to be giving away two prizes.

theark-annabelsmith 9781444762761

The first prize is a digital copy of The Ark by Annabel Smith.
(Suitable for Ipad, Ipad Mini, Kobo, Kindle)
The year is 2041 and a group of scientists and their families retreat into a bunker inside Mt Kosciusko to escape the chaos of environmental meltdown. They look after billions of plant seeds that hold the future to life on earth. Their story is told through a record of their digital documents. (Read my review here).

The second prize is a paperback copy of Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.
A sonic boom hits Lagos and three of its residents are engulfed by a tidal wave. They must work together with a visitor from beyond the stars to save the city, the country and the world from environmental destruction and the worst of human nature.
(Read my review here).

Both competitions are open worldwide and if you enter you will automatically be put into the draw for both prizes.
If you only want to be in the draw for one of the prizes, please let me know in your entry comment.

To enter you will need to leave a comment below stating your favourite tree, plant, shrub or flower. (C’mon, both novels have an environmental theme and one is even set in a seed bank!)
If you are entering both competitions you only need to leave one comment.

Both competitions close 11.59pm GMT on Wednesday 5th November.

Winners will be selected randomly. If you are a winner I will contact you within 24 hours of the competitions closing. If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours I will draw the prize again.

Why not visit some of the other blogs participating in the Blog Hop giveaway:

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self (N. Am.)
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  17. The Emerald City Book Review
  18. Wensend
  1. Laurie Here
  2. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  3. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  4. I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  5. Lost Generation Reader
  6. Books Speak Volumes
  7. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  8. Books on the Table (US)
  9. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  10. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  11. Words And Peace (US)
  12. Booklover Book Reviews
  13. Inside the Secret World of Allison Bruning (US)
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Bizarre City Pulse: Lagoon

LagoonLagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

I was unsure about this novel: a fantasy novel set in Lagos? With environmental themes? Could I possible enjoy this?

Three disparate strangers meet on a beach in Lagos: Adaora, a marine biologist. Anthony, a famous rapper from Ghana. Agu, a soldier in trouble with his superior.

When a meteorite hits the ocean and a tidal wave overcomes them, these three will find themselves bound together with Ayodele, a visitor from beyond the stars. They must race through Lagos in order to save the city, the world… and themselves.

First Impressions: The first few chapters were well written but I found the plot was a little stilted as the sea creature alien arrived and settled into Adaora’s house. As it is a fantasy novel and this was a vital plot development you sort of just had to go with it and I’m glad I did.

Highlights: There is so much to like about this novel! Never having been to Nigeria, I am guessing that Okorafor has created a perfect representation of Lagos. I wonder if her life in America has provided a good distance in which to make such accurate comments? I laughed to read that Aliens chose to land in Lagos as the corruption would mean they could exist undetected. I later found out that the author started this novel in response to everything she disliked in the South African Film District 9.

Many people talk about London as being an addictive place to live but I had never considered Lagos to have the same pull to its residents; people look for greener pastures but always return. I found all the different Lagosian groups and tensions that Okorafor includes incredibly interesting and naturally written about, particularly the Muslim-Christian anxieties. I have never included quotes in a review before but I think this perfectly sums up daily life for residents of Lagos:

Some blamed the Muslims of the north. Others blamed the Americans. Al-Quaeda. Sickness. The British. Bad luck. Devils. Poverty. Women. Fate. 419. Biafra. The bad roads. The military. Corruption. (page 61).

My favourite character by far was the charlatan charismatic  religious leader Father Oke. I also loved the underground LGBT group from the university; so unexpected yet a perfect addition to this novel. Along with other terms peculiar to Lagos such as ‘Area Boys’ and ‘face me, I face you’ apartments, Pidgin was used successfully in some chapters and I wasn’t bothered by the fact that I didn’t understand it all, which really surprised me. Juju and other superstitions are seamlessly integrated into the mindset of many of the characters including Adaora’s businessman husband who believes in the three types of witches: white, physical and marine.

If I was an editor: I would still be a fair-weather fantasy reader and would like the fact the fantasy elements don’t overwhelm the story. There are a few (needed for the plot) chapters with fantasy elements towards the end; any more and I may have begun to lose interest but the author obviously kept a good balance with these elements. It is, after all, a fantasy novel.

Overall: Lagos brought to life.

Lagoon: 5 Stars

Thank you to Bookbridgr for a copy of the novel to review.

 

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An Attractive Man Monday: Father Oke in Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon

Monday 27 October 2014

Father Oke in Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, page 62.

Lagoon

Father Oke quickly spoke up. ‘A visitor from outer space. An alien! An extraterrestrial!’ he said dramatically, rolling his ‘r’s. The entire church went silent. This was the shock Father Oke had hoped to cause. Perfect. ‘It is in Brother Chris’s home! It is only the first of many!’ he continued. ‘It is in the news, all these strange things happening. We are being visited, my friends.’