“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.”
The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa–a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.
Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.
But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?
Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Remote Control for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.
Remote Control is a novella that begins like a folktale but turns into an immersive, devastating story of a young girl with powers beyond her belief or control. Okorafor wastes no time dropping the reader into Fatima’s story, her transformation into Sankofa, and the path she must take to reclaim the item she was given by the stars.
I have to admit: I looked back at the cover several times whilst reading the intro chapter of Remote Control because I COULD HAVE SWORN I was reading a novella by Neil Gaiman (who happens to also be an author on my favorites list). To see that he is a fan of Nnedi’s makes complete sense.
Fatima…errr Sankofa, as she is now known, scared the hell out of me in the intro. Heck, she terrifies anyone that intersects her path so it sort of makes sense. There is something about a child that can bring utter destruction and devastation with a simple glance that is more horrifying than when an adult can do the same. I assume it is all about innocence?
While the intro chapter felt like a short story on its own, I really enjoyed how Okorafor laid that foundation only to give us an entire overview of how Sankofa got to this point. The thing is, Fatima really IS just a little girl who wants to be left to her own devices, but when an adult is set to take something of hers (much like a toy being taken away), it sets her on a course of unforeseen circumstances that see her as this adopted daughter of the Angel of Death.
I will say.. the synopsis only gives you a snippet of what you can expect in this novella. There is a ton of heart in Okorafor’s writing, on top of some gorgeous world-building and deep characterization. This is a piece of Africanfuturism that needs to be on your TBR. If you enjoyed Binti, you will love Sankofa.