Sunday, January 24, 2021

Remote Control, by Nnedi Okorafor (author), Adjoa Andoh (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, January 2021

Fatima is a young girl in a future Ghana, who finds a strange object on the night of a meteor shower. It seems to have strange powers, making her life better in small but significant ways. For instance, she is no longer the target of the mosquitoes, who had pursued her and given her multiple bouts of malaria in her young life.

The little object, though, attracts attention, and her parents sell it to a politician who plans to sell it to a medical research company called LifeGen. It gets stolen from him, though, and that's the start of a disastrous series of events. 

It precipitates the events that lead to Fatima accidentally, through her connection to the object, killing her entire small town, including her own family. In the process, she forgets her name, and unable to remember it, starts to call herself Sankofa, a name tied to the wood carving her brother used to do.

She starts walking, away from her home, with no real goal but to find her stolen treasure, and maybe be able to set right the harm she did.

But that's not the last time she kills.

At first she has no idea how she's doing it or how to control it. Life is further complicated by the fact that complex electronics are fried by her touch. It takes years before she can choose when to kill and when not to, but as she gains control, she tries to use it only when someone is suffering and truly wants release, or when she is directly threatened.

And she keeps walking through Ghana, accompanied by a fox who used to shelter in the same tree where she used to read or watch the stars.

Sankofa is growing up alone and isolated, and struggling to understand and control her difference and her power. Can she accept what she is? Should she? Is her power anything other than pure evil?

I found this story captivating. Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

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