... gorgeous ... Episodic and organic, the story winds along with a limber rhythm that allows every rich detail of Sankofa's surreal world to surface. It's a cumulative narrative, a slow burn that builds in emotional urgency even as the scope of Okorafor's worldbuilding bursts into something breathtakingly vast ... By story's end, Okorafor pulls a neat trick: She uses the way in which legends morph throughout time to add another level of ambiguity to Sankofa's origin and fate. It's a delicious ambiguity, though, one that blurs the lines between worship and fear, between machine and flesh, between corporation and culture, and between death and reclamation ... multifaceted.
Landing once again firmly in the subgenre of science fiction that Okorafor herself has termed Africanfuturism, this novella is sure to captivate existing fans and also draw new readers to her work ... Okorafor has created quite a world here. She explores the intersection of power and control with technology and politics, even weaving in the elements of mythology and legend that Sankofa brings to the table. There is a beautiful juxtaposition between the youth of this female protagonist and the weight of her role as the so-called 'adopted daughter of the Angel of Death'...And while the story may be set in a time yet-to-come, filled with futuristic elements, like any good science fiction story the themes are just as relevant in the real world we live in today ... a quick read, but is packaged with much care. Despite how the story sounds, it reads as more character-driven than plot-driven for this reviewer, which may leave some readers wanting more — of Fatima, her transformation into Sankofa, and of this unique world Okorafor has built. Regardless, fans of science-fiction will enjoy this unique adventure and fans of literary fiction will be impressed by the underlying considerations of culture, identity, family, and more.
Okorafor builds a stunning landscape of futuristic technology and African culture, with prose that will grab readers from the first sentence. Sankofa is at once innocent and experienced, facing a world forever changed for and by her ... This compelling novella is Africanfuturism sf at its best.