May 18, 2019
Hugo Reading 2019: "Binti: The Night Masquerade," by Nnedi Okorafor
This is the third in the Binti series of novellas, and the longest. It's on the border between novella and short novel. It wraps up Binti's story, and we find out more about her and her family, her village, her Himba people, the war between two alien races, and the secret behind the dreaded Night Masquerade.
For all of that, this entry in the trilogy is curiously uninvolving, at least to me. A large part of that is because, as much as I hate infodumps, I like a bit of explanation, and precious little is provided here. (For instance, I know I should pick up on contextual clues, but despite my best efforts I was never able to figure out what Binti's "treeing" ability actually is. Considering that she seems to do it every other page, this got quite annoying after a while.) The characterization in general was just not that great, and the story seemed to meander aimlessly to the end. It was okay, but it's definitely not in my higher tier of quality.