Engaging YA SciFi

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In 2172, Earth has been ravaged by climate change and nuclear disasters. In Africa, in the country we know as Nigeria, a civil war has been raging for years. On one side are those who view Nigeria as a single country. On the other are those who declare that the Biafran Republic is separate nation, typically members of the Igbo tribe. Onyii is a former child soldier, now a teen leader among a camp of war girls fighting and struggling to survive in Biafra. Her adoptive younger sister Ify is tech savvy and different from all the other girls in the camp. No one and nowhere is safe in a country torn apart by civil war, so will Ify and Onyii ever get the future they dream of?

War Girls is a strong YA sci-fi work, with characters that resonate with their humanity. I had no awareness of the civil war that occurred in Nigeria, with the secession of Biafra in the late 20th century. Onyebuchi has drawn heavily on his mother’s memories of life as a child during the conflict, as well as memoirs from the time period and the accounts of former child soldiers. Some plot points are underdeveloped, but as a whole I think the story works well.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via BookishFirst for an honest review.