'There's more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor's work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics' Ursula K. LeGuin
Prequel to the highly acclaimed, World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Who Fears Death.
*** ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD FINALIST***
They call her many things - a research project, a test-subject, a specimen. An abomination.
But she calls herself Phoenix, an 'accelerated woman' - a genetic experiment grown and raised in Manhattan's famous Tower 7, the only home she has ever known. Although she's only two years old, Phoenix has the body and mind of an adult - and powers beyond imagining. Phoenix is an innocent, happy to live quietly in Tower 7, reading voraciously and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human.
Until the night that Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated, Phoenix begins to search for answers - only to discover that everything that she has ever known is a lie.
Tower 7 isn't a haven. It's a prison.
And it's time for Phoenix to spread her wings and rise.
Spanning continents and centuries, The Book of Phoenix is an epic, incendiary work of magical realism featuring Nnedi Okorafor's most incredible, unforgettable heroine yet.
This haphazard prequel to Okorafor's postapocalyptic first novel for adults, Who Fears Death, explores the circumstances that led to that apocalypse. Phoenix is a three-year-old biological weapon who looks and acts like a 40-year-old woman. Escaping from the facility where she was created, Phoenix flees from a malevolent organization bent on recapturing her and bending her to their will. While this installment answers burning questions from Who Fears Death, it lacks much of the nuance and intrigue that make the author's other work so beloved. Okorafor once again creatively melds European and African mythologies into a fresh hybrid, but the wonder and magic aren't enough to distract from the flat characterization and bland narration. This tale of oppression is brimming with anger, but without a compelling reason to care about the characters, Okorafor's vital larger messages are lost.