3 of 5 stars.
This short story appears in After the End: Recent Apocalypses edited by Paula Guran and Okorafor’s anthology, Kabu Kabu. Our narrator, 16 year-old Dikeogu, had escaped slavery and finds himself in Timia, Niger. Prejudice against meta-humans, post-apocalyptic children with “enhanced” abilities, is growing. Dikeogu, a rainmaker, aims to keep a low profile.
Dikeogu, born Christian, has his own prejudices, however, that surface when he meets a Muslim, Tumaki, a young burka’ed female with a keen ability to fix technological hardware. The shroud of the burka aptly symbolizes the layers of preconceived notions along gender and religious lines held by our narrator. He does not know what he is dealing with as Tumaki is the daughter of an imam in a conservative, dangerous society. However, the imam also espouses progressive views towards the meta-humans, which are not appreciated by all of his listeners.
The mood is tense throughout. I really liked this story, almost giving it 4 stars. The ending, however, lost itself. A potential plot-line is introduced about who might be behind attacks in the city without any exploration nor resolution. The story also lingered for two unnecessary paragraphs beyond its end trying to introduce new unneeded complications in the form of postscripts. It took away from the story, lessening its impact. These postscripts would have been strengths had they been introductions to a flashback comprising the bulk of the story.
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