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Book Review

War Girls


Written by: Tochi Onyebuchi
Narrated by: Adepero Oduye
Genres: Dystopia | Young Adult
Published: 15th of October, 2019
Length: 12 Hours 57 Minutes


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Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs, and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.

And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there.

Acclaimed author Tochi Onyebuchi has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.


The Audiobook Review
Morgan Hobbes Morgan Hobbes


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Reviewed: 2021-03-06

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Good but Fell Short
War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi left me in two minds. On one hand, it was a decent story well told. On the other, it just felt like it fell short of pulling me in as much as I thought it should have. That sounds paradoxical, but after waiting a day and thinking on it, it's still how I feel.

At first, I wasn't sure if I'd even get through it. It started slow, but chapter after chapter it did finally get moving to where the pace picked up and the meat of the story started unfolding. The Nigerian-Biafran War in the late 60s is one I knew nothing about before reading this. Set in the future, the author uses stories from his family's history to build a world where the civil war takes place in the future.

Centred around two sisters, Onyii and Ify, fighting for what they believe in. Fighting to bring about peace. Fighting for justice. As characters, they work. They're well fleshed out with plenty of backstories to make them real, but even still, this story left me feeling like it needed something more.

The world of the future is your typical post-nuclear world with radiation ready to kill you at a moments notice, but also with lots of interesting future tech like battle mechs and the like. Interestingly, I think the progression of the technology felt like it matched a future somewhat closer than 150 years hence.

Narrated by Adepero Oduye who I think delivered a decent performance. Enough variance in characters to tell them apart, but again fell short of something I'd consider as excellent. I suspect it's largely in part to the story more than the narrators ability.

In short, this was a book I thought I'd really love, one that I tried really hard to love, but ultimately just ended up liking. Will I get the sequel? I doubt it.



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