I preordered this one and read it as quickly as I could because I was seeing it everywhere and when it comes to new, much-hyped books I have severe FOMO, apparently. If you haven’t seen this book around yet, you certainly will when the movie (already in the works) hits theaters.
Children of Blood and Bone is BIG. In its length (a hefty hardcover at over 500 pages). In its ambition (a Black Lives Matter message set in an intricately drawn African-inspired fantasy world). And of course, in its aforementioned hype. Fortunately, it earns every bit of its juggernaut status.
Sometimes YA authors are better at creating a rich world for their story than telling the story itself, or vice versa, but Adeyemi can do it all. Orïsha is a lush and fabulous and sometimes brutal world (so, a lot like ours). Zélie is a compelling character whose full power is probably yet to be realized. The action zips along with very few lulls. Usually a YA novel this long would be at least a little padded with fluff, but Adeyemi is too businesslike and economical for that. This is adventure delivered straight to the bloodstream. And of course the ending is such that you’ll be chomping at the bit for the next book in the series.
To get the most out of your reading experience, don’t miss the author’s note at the end, in which Adeyemi explains the inspiration behind the book. I also recommend checking out some of the many interviews she’s done, as they clarify her purpose in telling this particular story in this particular way. Our world can be dark, but artists are still making art. There is hope.