I'm not that impressed? I read a lot of novellas, but this one left me a bit dissatisfied.
I enjoyed the writing immensely, but Binti is way too short. It's tiny. It's literally almost a short story. There was substance in it - it was detailed and well built, but it just wasn't enough to be fully invested in.
I didn't care for Binti as a character, because she felt very one dimensional to me. She can be described int three words - mathematics, her hair and otijze (the clay mix she wears on her skin). There is no substance to her beyond that. Those things define her a 100%. The whole mathematical aspect was weird, because it wasn't explained deeply enough.
I did enjoy the message the novella was portraying - how it feels to be different, and how horrible the world is for only seeing your physical differences, instead of focusing on who you really are.
I will pick up Binti Home, because my library has it. That one is larger, so hopefully I will be invested in it.
I read 20 pages from Binti Home and couldn't care less about anything. Also, I realized how basic and dull the dialog is. That one is a DNF for me, unfortunately. I just don't see what all the fuss is about with these novellas.
“We shouldn't have to go around congratulating each other for behaving with basic human dignity.”
This is the most uniquely structured fantasy I've ever had the pleasure of reading. But what blew me away, and I mean BLEW ME AWAY was the writing. Holy moly guacamole Bancroft can write! Wow. I want to frame random sentences from this book just because of how beautifully sound and graceful they are. Pure literary ecstasy.
“Senlin loved nothing more in the world than a warm hearth to set his feet upon and a good book to pour his whole mind into. While an evening storm rattled the shutters and a glass of port wine warmed in his hand, Senlin would read into the wee hours of the night. He especially delighted in the old tales, the epics in which heroes set out on some impossible and noble errand, confronting the dangers in their path with fatalistic bravery. Men often died along the way, killed in brutal and unnatural ways; they were gored by war machines, trampled by steeds, and dismembered by their heartless enemies. Their deaths were boastful and lyrical and always, always more romantic than real. Death was not an end. It was an ellipsis. There was no romance in the scene before him. There were no ellipses here. The bodies lay upon the ground like broken exclamation points.”
Because of the beautiful writing all the ugly things that this book brings to life seem so sudden and brutal, but also hazy - a chilling combination. Also, the humor was quite good. Senlin Ascends as a debut is phenomenal. Senlin Ascends as a fantasy is brilliant. Cannot wait to see where Tom takes me next, as there have been some unexpected turns.
Only rounding down because I'm not a big fan of books keeping all of its action-y bits till the very end - it overwhelms me.
p.s. And there better be an explanation on Edith in the next book, because WUT? How? Wut?
“I’m going to feel very weak and you’re going to feel very dumb. But that’s how it always is in the beginning. Learning starts with failure.”