Remote Control

by Nnedi Okorafor

“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.”

The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa­­–a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.

Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.

But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) This is a very short book, or novella. Sankofa is a young girl who gets turned into Death’s adopted daughter by touching an alien artifact. She is then known for her “touch of death.” She has the ability to kill people and electronics by being near. This can be a gift but also a curse. She journey’s for years on her own with a fox as her only companion.

This is based in a futuristic Ghana and I had a hard time picturing it. They had cell phones, cars, hashtags, Fanta drink, Robocops and more but it felt off somehow. Her ability makes her glow and I may have expected more of a sci fi world, especially based on the cover. The contemporary world combined with her abilities did not work in my head.

At times, my emotions were running wild for this young girl. It’s hard not to feel her confusion and anxiety but loneliness too.

The ending is a bit obscure. I don’t mind the author leaving it to my interpretation but this ending did not give me enough to grasp. We never find out truly what her power is about or why she has it and I would’ve liked more information.

Adjoa Andoh brought me into the audio beautifully with her accent and perfect tempo. I loved the rhythm she established!

Content Summary: Violence of a young girl being stoned, scary moments for this young girl on her own and confronting men. Also deaths of many from her ability; entire towns would die.

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  1. I think a sci-fi novella would be a little frantic in atmospheric world building & it’s weird they would still have that many things from today’s time?

  2. I have a really hard time with novellas that aren’t part of a series. I think it’s really difficult to get a full story out of a novella, I think. I love the cover though!

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