ravens

The cover image of Othuke Ominiabohs’ A Conspiracy Of Ravens.

Read the book so we can discuss it without risk of spoilers. I have nothing against spoilers but my siblings would disown me for sure.  Read the book. Have I said that already? Then I say again, read the book.

If you enjoy fast paced action stories in their dispense of reality, multiple characters acting, reacting, building this magnificent tension bubble that explodes in predictable melodrama, you will love this book.

If you enjoy reading for the love of words (duh!), you will love Ominiaboh’s description of Nigeria. Its geography, cities, roads, and people. Nigeria is a formidable character that eclipses the central character (from the blurb) in every way. It moves and suffocates in the swamps, is still and endless at sea, furtive and menacing along winding dirt roads, loud and bossy in the city. It is assertive, determined and will not be ignored.

Once you’re done with the ambushes, machine guns blaring, conspiracies unraveling, the true gem in this story shines through. The villains and heroes in this Nigerian tragedy are Nigerians. He, Ominiabohs, does try to include philosophical discussions on tragedies of the Nigerian state but thankfully the story doesn’t suffer from it.

And it’s all written in English. In well translated English (obviously not everyone speaks English). Ominiabohs had the decency to assume that the narrator of the story understood all languages excellently and was able to translate to English perfectly. None of that ‘notable’ African writing that insists on stilted writing in English to emphasize the use of another tongue. As a result his story rolls comfortably forward keeping up with all the action!

However, to truly enjoy the book, I had to do two things.

First; ignore the blurb. It was misleading. I went in expecting Alex Randa to do some major detecting and bum kicking. Well…

Secondly, bear with disappointing female characters as a whole. They came across as malformed, including Alex. However, this is a struggle I have with many, many books. It did not stop me from enjoying the story.

A definite 7.5/10. Those female characters stole the 2.5.

This review was written, for Turn The Page, by Rachel Kunihira.

Copies of the title are available for sale on the online bookstore.

 

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