Part of the reason for that is this is a book that absolutely denies any kind of skimming or lazy reading. This book is meaty. This book is complex. Many of these stories tackle big, weighty issues in stark terms. There are many different issues concerning racism, Black Americans in Nigeria and conflict with Nigerians, colonialism, exploitation of Nigeria by western powers and industry, of arrogant foreigners assuming they can step into Africa however they wish. Issues of shaming people for their natural hair, genocide, dehumanisation, degrading beliefs as “superstition”, scapegoating population, scapegoating religion, stereotyping – both religious and racial and a whole lot of challenges of assumptions. We have societies where fat women are considered the epitome of beauty or where a veiled Muslim woman is a mechanic working in her mother’s shop.
All the worlds are African-centric (primarily Nigerian), from the Nigerian-American lawyer catching the Kabu in Chicago and running into all kinds of shenanigans on the way, through to the stories set in post-apocalyptic Sudan. The stories contain a lot of African beliefs, mythology, folklore and stories bringing a lot of stories we just never see in so much of Urban Fantasy –or any genre for that matter – making them extremely unique. But it’s not just the monsters and magic that are different, there is a true sense of time and place throughout the stories with the surroundings and the food (especially the food which always takes a strong place in each story).