By: Nnedi Okorafor
Release Date: January 18, 2018
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
The last book in the acclaimed Binti series has been released. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor is the third and last book in the Binti series, a great conclusion to a wonderful series.
This book sees Binti’s journey concluded. This novel continues where the last, Binti: Home, left off. Binti travels back home, the Meduse far behind her and no more violence in sight. But as peaceful as her people are, the Khoush are not. The flames of war are fanned, and Binti finds herself far from her village when the fighting begins. Facing the resentment of her people and the distrust of the elders, Binti and her friend Mwinyi must do whatever they can to prevent war from destroying her people completely.
The prose in Binti: The Night Masquerade is, as always, absolutely wonderful. On pain of venturing into slight spoiler territory, I would like to highlight one feature. This novella, like the others, is written from the first person point of view. When Binti is, shall we say, indisposed, Okorafor does something that I haven’t see very often. Most often there is a time skip, with some minor exposition dumping later on depending on what sort of action or important plot elements the main characters and narrator might have missed. Here, the viewpoint switches from first person to third. A very different perspective is provided, no matter how long or short it might have been. I really liked this aspect, partially because it is seen so infrequently. Other character’s actions are highlighted a bit more, and we get a more neutral view of Binti’s world and ongoing events.
At times, plot twists can be a bit too twisty. Events occur – sometimes, but not always – with no carefully placed hints or priorly related lore. Some events border on being too convenient. In particular, the ending wrapped up much less messily than I had initially expected. This was at once very welcome and a touch disappointing. There is at once a pull to see the best for all the characters you’ve grown to love and a want to see a book go to bold places not often explored, which was initially how I foresaw this ending. Still, the ending wrapped things up very well. There are very few loose ends dangling in the wind, at least as far as Binti and her personal life are concerned. Larger questions still remain. Very old hatred and penchants for warring cannot always be overcome so easily. It isn’t clear how the future – not Binti’s personal future, but that of a broader future of the Meduse and the Khoush, to name a few – will unfold. There is still room for more tales in this world, even if our time with Binti has come to a close.
Yet, the ending was satisfying, even if it wasn’t quite as bold as I had thought it was going to be upon reaching the middle of the book. Still, I cannot fault The Night Masquerade too much for this, as exciting as it might have been.
Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor is a satisfying conclusion to a series that will stand the test of time. It is series that should not be missed, and a book that cannot be skipped. I would highly recommend reading the Binti series.