cover image Like Thunder

Like Thunder

Nnedi Okorafor. DAW, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1879-3

The impressive finale to Nebula Award winner Okorafor’s Desert Magician’s Duology (after Shadow Speaker) turns the focus from Ejii Ugabe, the girl who saved the world, to her mysterious companion, Dikéogu Obidimkpa.The story is presented as an audio file of his hazily pieced together memories, recorded to keep himself sane. After the event known as the Big Change, which altered the laws of physics and gave certain people (or Changed Ones) special powers, Dikéogu discovered he could control the weather. Upon learning he was Changed, his fearful parents sold him into slavery, though Dikéogu managed to escape. Years later, as part of a specialized team to take down child slavery on chocolate farms, Dikéogu kills his former slaver with a lightning strike. Eager to explore his rainmaker powers and seek further revenge, he separates from his team to seek out his parents. From there, he embarks on a fast-paced, violent journey through the sinister sides of post-Change Africa, trying to outrun ever-growing anti–Changed One sentiment. Dikéogu’s perspective lends greater depth to Okorafor’s apocalyptic Saharan world, offering a pessimistic counterpoint to the first novel’s optimism. While this is less vibrant and more devastating than its predecessor, readers will be just as enthralled. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Agency. (Dec.)