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Our Discussion of Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

It’s up to a famous rapper, a biologist, and a rogue soldier to handle humanity’s first contact with an alien ambassador—and prevent mass extinction—in this novel that blends magical realism with high-stakes action.

After word gets out on the Internet that aliens have landed in the waters outside of the world’s fifth most populous city, chaos ensues. Soon the military, religious leaders, thieves, and crackpots are trying to control the message on YouTube and on the streets. Meanwhile, the earth’s political superpowers are considering a preemptive nuclear launch to eradicate the intruders. All that stands between 17 million anarchic residents and death is an alien ambassador, a biologist, a rapper, a soldier, and a myth that may be the size of a giant spider, or a god revealed. Goodreads

Below are a sampling of our comments:

  • The location was refreshing – something different
  • We only found out halfway through that the Giant Spider is the narrator – the epigraph was the only clue
  • The book had chapters with different points of view – from the swordfish, manatee, and even a road
  • I thought the swordfish would be like Chekov’s gun, but it didn’t have much to do
  • This was fantasy with a science fiction veneer
  • I was disappointed when the mute boy was killed – I hoped he would somehow be transformed by the aliens
  • I wanted to like it a lot more than I did
  • The description of Lagos seemed true to life with the 419 schemes, but if you aren’t familiar with it, how would you know?
  • I liked when Ayodele was sulking and turned herself into a tiny monkey
  • There was a lot of imagery and subtext going on
  • I enjoyed the dopamine hits from the short chapters
  • The author got the description of UIC’s Douglas Hall right at the end of the book – it was always warm in there!

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you have about Lagoon. We gave this title the codes MAG, XEN, FEM, MYT, POL, ECO, INC, and an average rating of 3.6.

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