Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor [⭐⭐⭐⭐]

By trumanrose | The Readr | 8 Sep 2021

Remote Control is a 2021 novella about Sankofa, A.K.A. the Adopted Daughter of Death, who searches for the seed that gave her mortifying powers that could kill people and technology. Her power creates fear of Sankofa and as a result, she is ostracized and became infamous to surrounding cities. Sankofa struggles to find information about her powers and understanding the limits of what she can do.

I picked up this book for a reading challenge over at The Storygraph. The prompt was: Read a book that fits all of the criteria from your reading profile. My reading habits currently are: Mainly reads fiction books that are adventurous, dark, and emotional. Typically chooses fast-paced books that are <300 pages long. So if you have the same interests as me, this book might be good for you!

I personally didn't find the story remarkable on its own, although it's likely because I don't read a lot of novellas so I haven't really grown into it.

The story didn't give me what I wanted out of sci-fi, which is an immersive experience or amazing technology. To be fair, I didn't think the sci-fi elements were actually the main points of the story so I wouldn't blame it on the writing itself.

Even though the story was not what I expected it to be, it did deliver quite well. I particularly enjoyed the introduction of the RoboCop, which is an engineered AI that works as a traffic enforcer in RoboTown (unique names, huh?). While I was reading it, I kept picturing Orisa in my head from Overwatch. It's funny to me because Orisa is programmed to be similar to RoboCop's role as a society member i.e robots co-living with humans.


I can't find anything that I specifically dislike about the story, although like I said, it's not very remarkable to me in the end. I usually rate based on how I am most likely to remember this story or possibly recommend it to someone. 5 - a favorite, 4 - good enough, but I don't 'love' it, 3 - okay, needs improvements, 1-2 - terrible, hope nobody reads this again.

I think the story's greatest strength lies in its portrayal of humanity in people. It gives you an insight into how easily we turn on each other given the slightest push, the effect of mob mentality, and on the flip side, the impact of kindness we give to each other. My explanation was a bit vague because I don't want to go into the details of the scenes in particular, but you'll understand once you've read it!

Overall, it's a decent read if you want to delve into something magical and fast-paced. It's not something I consider a 'best book of all time', nor did it become a favorite of mine, but I fairly enjoyed the whole book in the end.


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