Book Review: War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

3.5 uncomfortably real, badass, high tech stars!

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War Girls is a book that has been on my radar ever since I learned how incredibly cool Tochi Onyebuchi is! If you haven’t checked out my author spotlight on Tochi yet, you should definitely check it out here. He is incredible and there is some fun stuff to read for free by him there!

War Girls follows two sisters who have been separated in the midst of a mech filled, high tech civil war. Specifically the Nigerian Civil War. That’s right! This book is an incredibly cool, important and heart wrenching retelling of the very war that Tochi’s grandparents lived through in Nigeria. If you don’t know much about the Nigerian Civil War before going into this book, I highly recommend reading up a little bit on it. It makes this book so much more enjoyable and so much more real.

If you’re looking for a place to do some brief research before reading, I recommend this website. I thought it did a great job of summarizing the events of the war, a little bit of background, in a very clear and concise manner. I read a few other sources, but I think this one is just enough information to really help you enjoy the book. Click through a couple of the additional links and enjoy this book like it should be enjoyed.

Anyway, this book was great. By going in knowing how personal this book is to Tochi and his family, I really took care to take in each piece into my heart. To help Tochi immortalize experiences of his family. I made sure to remember that underneath all of the advanced technology lay bare much more truth than it seems. From the brain washing of the android child soldiers, to the foreign aid given to Nigeria, each piece had a little sting in my heart to remind me that much of it was based in truth.

This book does have a lot of real and serious undertones that, if you know the background, really help you feel the depth of this book. However, if you take it at surface level, it is still wonderful. On the surface, it is an action packed story of two incredibly strong found sisters fighting against the odds to love and remember each other, despite their distance. If you love high tech war stories, giant mechs fighting, found family, strong female characters, action filled fast paced stories, you will love War Girls.

Big Takeaway

War Girls is a wonderful work of war time science fiction based in the strong relationship and sweet love of two sisters despite the odds. Tochi Onyebuchi writes a personal, action packed, fast paced story full of rich history and based on the Nigerian Civil War.

Have you read War Girls? Is it on your TBR? What did you think of this one? Did you know about the Nigerian Civil War before reading this?

About the Author

Check out Tochi Onyebuchi’s author spotlight here.

Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of Beasts Made of Night, its sequel Crown of Thunder, War Girls, and his adult fiction. debut Riot Baby, published by Tor.com in January 2020. He has graduated from Yale University, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia Law School, and L’institut d’études politiques with a Masters degree in Global Business Law.

His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionOmenanaBlack Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, and elsewhere. His non-fiction has appeared in Uncanny MagazineNowhere Magazine, Tor.com and the Harvard Journal of African-American Public Policy. He is the winner of the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African and has appeared in Locus Magazine’s Recommended Reading list.

Born in Massachusetts and raised in Connecticut, Tochi is a consummate New Englander, preferring the way the tree leaves turn the color of fire on I-84 to mosquitoes and being able to boil eggs on pavement. He has worked in criminal justice, the tech industry, and immigration law, and prays every day for a new album from System of a Down.

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