Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
Welcome to Lagos, Nigeria, in the not so distant future where alien invaders have decided to put down roots. As a science fiction fan, I was attracted by the lure of alien shape-shifters, but it was the imagery and grounded feeling of familiarity for the setting that kept me engaged. The gorgeous descriptive language of this story will pull you in like a saltwater tide. Local dialects and pidgin English spoken by the characters add to the feeling of total immersion. Lagoon is a tale told through the eyes of a trio of unlikely heroes: Adaora, a marine biologist; Agu, a Nigerian soldier; and Anthony, a Ghanaian hip-hop artist. The action takes place within the span of a single day, but even in that short time, you’ll feel as though you intimately know each of the protagonists and have been in Lagos yourself for a time. Okorafor’s masterful weaving of a well-worn, well-loved sci fi theme with authentic Nigerian folklore is an intriguing and much-appreciated break from the norm.
Side note: If you are a fan of audiobooks, the Audible narrators for this title are fantastic.
Nnedimma Nkemdili “Nnedi” Okorafor is a Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction for both children and adults. She is best known for Binti, Who Fears Death, Zahrah the Windseeker, Akata Witch, and Lagoon. In 2015, Brittle Paper named her the African Literary Person of the Year.