I have read "Who Fears Death," and I highly recommend reading that book before reading its prequel. Nnedi has once again crafted a novel that pulls no punches. Anything can happen, imaginative and outlandish as it may seem. There is no end to the creative mind that fashioned both Who Fears Death and Phoenix.
CHARACTERS: Phoenix is an extremely strong willed scientific experiment, a weapon that can be used again and again. Although she is only three years old, she appears to be forty and her experiences are anything but that of a three year old. She knows love, pain, suffering, and joy, and it is her story that forms the basis for Onyesonwu's trials in "Who Fears Death." I loved all of the characters: each one was crafted with care and was different from the rest.
PLOT: I bought this book in the afternoon and stayed up late starting, reading, and finishing it. It was engrossing, with the proper balance of action and non-action. Phoenix escapes the strange Tower 7 to embark on a quest for freedom. Freedom for herself and freedom for others. There is literally no good stopping point! You just have to read the whole thing right through. Just because people aren't fighting or doing things they do in action movies, does not mean things are not exciting, and "The Book of Phoenix" is a perfect example of that.
ACCURACY: There were references in the book that I actually understood, both of which are accurate. However, with regards to the legitimate science in the novel... I just accepted that humanity has excelled to a point were normal people can be experimented upon and be turned into something different. Don't ask questions, because these people are way ahead of us! Just go with the story, and everything will be good.
RECOMMENDATION: If you read "Who Fears Death," "The Book of Phoenix" is a must. If you haven't read "Who Fears Death," please read that before reading this. "The Book of Phoenix" is also less graphic than WFD, but only because the situation does no occur (I have no doubt that, should the storyline require it, "Phoenix" would also be graphic.). Both novels feature powerful, strong female protagonists who undertake a journey to free those who have been repressed for so long. I love these books.
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