Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

The Book of Phoenix

by Nnedi Okorafor

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3832246,586 (3.75)31
"Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York's Tower 7. She is an 'accelerated woman'--only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix's abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading e-books, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7. Then one evening, Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7's refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape. But Phoenix's escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story. Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity's future"--… (more)
Recently added byThomasBoc, BrianCP25, private library, allison_s, mirihawk, RandomSurname, JodiLEK, adityadubey

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Even more amazing than the other two Nnedi Okorafor books I've read ("Akata Witch" and "Who Fears Death", both of which tie in a bit with this). A 6-star novel, if there is such a thing (THERE IS NOW, OK). Here is yet another sympathetic, multi-layered heroine at the helm of a hypnotic story.

While "The Book of Phoenix" is certainly a pulse-pounding sci-fi novel, it also tackles colonialism and non-consensual medical experimentation, and is laced with acute moments of both human innocence and human cruelty.

Okorafor continues to be a fearless, original, captivating, and heartfelt writer.

I can not wait to get my hands on "Lagoon". ( )
  allison_s | May 25, 2020 |
This book surprised me a few times. I'd heard some hype around Okorafor, and saw this on sale for 99p (kindle). I'll definitely be reading more. Reading this felt effortless, and I was left with strong impressions from another world - I love that feeling. Looking forward to her other writing. ( )
  RFellows | Apr 29, 2020 |
I keep wanting to like Okorafor's writing more than I do. I mean, I don't hate it, but for some reason it keeps not clicking for me even though it has all the elements I like in fiction and postapocalyptic fiction. IDK. It is one of those, "pretty good, but not for me" books. If you have liked her other work, don't let my random opinion change your mind and do give it a try - it's a quick read and it fills in the backstory for Who Fears Death without being too explanatory. ( )
  jeninmotion | Sep 24, 2018 |
Nnedi Okorafor's The Book of Phoenix takes place in the not-too-distant future where government-backed multinational corporations exploit people from developing nations in Africa in order to improve the lives of the wealthy. Outside of a framing device set centuries in the future, Okorafor tells her story from the perspective of Phoenix Okore, a genetically-enhanced individual called a speciMEN. These individuals, created by LifeGen Technologies (the speciMEN nicknamed the company the Big Eye due to the way it observes them), exist to test ideas that may benefit the world's wealthiest individuals.
This theme of class-based exploitation runs throughout the novel, with many of the Big Eye workers taking positions in order to reduce the time on their academic indenture, a student loan program taken to the extreme. As for the speciMEN themselves, Okorafor explains how most of them are from Africa or members of the African diaspora. Much as companies exploit developing nations while Euro-Americans turn a blind eye so long as the exploited are from impoverished countries in our own time, the Big Eye can get away with it by targeting those least likely to attract much international condemnation from powerful countries. Okorafor writes, "They saw me as they saw the Africans made slaves during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade hundreds of years ago" (pg. 136). She also draws upon historic examples of the scientific exploitation of those of African descent, specifically Henrietta Lacks, whose HeLa cells continue to serve as tools in medical experimentation and raise questions about privacy rights and ethics (pgs. 148, 186). She also comments upon the effects of industrialization and ecological change upon relatively isolated groups like the Jarawa (pg. 188), who will suffer most from climate change while the West marginalizes their voices so that they cannot advocate on behalf of their needs. In these commentaries, Okorafor's work belongs alongside other works of environmental science fiction, such as Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy.
In some of the more introspective prose, it is easy to see Phoenix as an avatar for Okorafor, especially when she muses, "I love books. I adore everything about them. I love the feel of the pages on my fingertips. They are light enough to carry, yet so heavy with worlds and ideas" (pg. 135). Further, her condemnation of the exploitation of the natural world evokes a theme present in much of this type of speculative science-fiction, "Human beings make terrible gods" (pg. 162). Okorafor also makes some fun references amid her social commentary. For example, the character Mmuo had a friend at university named Success T (pg. 119). This character also appears in Okorafor's Nigerian noir short story "Showlogo." In addition to this, among the records Phoenix finds in the Library of Congress are references to "Project X" and "Experiment 626" (pg. 148), the former likely alluding to the 1987 film about government experiments and the latter to Disney's Lilo and Stitch.
I did not know at the time of reading that this book is a prequel to Okorafor's 2010 novel, Who Fears Death, but the work is able to stand on its own and, with the exception of a brief reference at the end to the protagonist of the earlier novel, it requires no foreknowledge of that work. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jun 12, 2018 |
OK, it's December 2017, and I don't remember a thing about this book I read in November of 2015. My partial note from the time of reading hints at me not being impressed. Since I can't remember what I wasn't impressed about, I guess that says it all.
  quondame | Dec 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Okorafor, Nnediprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Battle, EricIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
G-Force DesignCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glover, ElizabethDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kern, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruth, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
"Voyage through death, to life upon these shores."

-- Robery Hayden, poet (Middle Passage)
To the stolen girls of Chibok, Nigeria. May you awaken with the heart of Phoenix Okore and may your powerful flames illuminate your swift journey home.
First words
Nobody really knows who wrote the Great Book.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the 2015 novel that expands on the novella, African Sunrise (Subterranean), that expanded on the novelette published in Clarkesworld.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Author

Nnedi Okorafor is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.75)
1.5 2
2 6
2.5 3
3 19
3.5 7
4 30
4.5 6
5 18


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 146,682,117 books! | Top bar: Always visible