Lagoon - Nnedi Okorafor Nnedi Okorafor's Lagoon had the potential to be awesome, and fell just short of even being interesting. The first seventy percent of the novel is a unorganized mess. It feels like she started writing it without having a firm idea of the direction it was going to go in. I've been getting back into knitting lately, so let me put it like this: It's like she was using all her scrap yarn on a project, and then realized halfway through she wanted to make it into something awesome. Except, she didn't want to go back and re-do the beginning with good yarn, so she just left it as it was and prettied up the end.

I struggled to get through this book. The only reason I didn't give up on it was because it's a planned read for our Dare to Discuss for January. I couldn't connect with the characters. The random story threads that were just in there for a particular reason left me unimpressed. And I don't know why she felt the urge to describe certain things the exact same way without ever actually describing them at all. (Ie: Nollywood woman)

My understanding is that the author wrote this book because she wanted to write about Nigeria. I can appreciate that. I didn't think so in the beginning, but by the end of the book, I have a pretty clear impression of what the country (or Lagos, at least) is like. It's definitely a culture much different from the one I'm used to. I do wish the author hadn't been so heavy handed with the pidgin speaking (or at least put the glossary in the front of the book). If I have to spend a couple of minutes trying to figure out exactly what your character just said, you've pulled me out of the story. That's not a good thing.

This is one of those books that blurs the lines between genres. I was willing to give it a go because it was listed as a science fiction novel. That seems to be only because it included aliens. Because this isn't really a science fiction novel. It's fantasy, folktales, and culture, with a dash of a science fiction element to it. The mixture is not an appealing one, unfortunately. I think it would have been better served to make it definitively one or the other.

I'm sure Nnedi Okorafor has talent. I mean, the lady won a Hugo award! However, I don't see any evidence of that talent in Lagoon. The way it started to gel at the end means I might give her work another try at some point, but it probably won't be any time soon.