Kabu Kabu – unregistered, illegal Nigerian taxis – generally get you where you need to go, but Nnedi Okorafor’s Kabu Kabu takes the reader to exciting, fantastic, magical, occasionally dangerous, and always imaginative locations. This debut short story collection by award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor includes notable previously-published short work, a new novella co-written with New York Times bestselling author Alan Dean Foster, and a brief forward by Whoopi Goldberg.
So, collections of short stories are always a bit difficult to review because there are obviously so many stories you can’t discuss them all (I mean you could, but that would end up with a very long review) and indeed in this I’m not going to be mentioning all the stories because I just wouldn’t have space.
First off though, if you’ve read any of Nnedi’s books before, then you’re going to enjoy this collection. It has short stories set in the worlds of several of her books although none of them contain spoilers so it’s also totally okay to read if you’ve never read any of her work before. There are several Windseeker short stories in here that I adored despite not having read Zahrah the Windseeker.
The collection starts off with a story entitled “The Magical Negro” and it’s fantastic. It’s then followed by the titular story, Kabu-Kabu which again I adored. Having started off so strong, I was apprehensive about the rest of the collection but it just kept amazing me. Usually in a collection of short stories there will be a few you adore and a few you’re indifferent towards (or even dislike) but I adored every single story in this collection. I can’t even pick my favourites as they are all so fantastic. I must however give special mention to Asunder due to the fact it’s a love story that I adored as I’m not a huge fan of love stories but this one, this one is so great and powerful.
Nnedi’s writing, like in all her books, is fantastic. It’s descriptive and magical and you don’t want to stop reading until you finish. Every book of hers I read makes me more determined to read the rest of her work because I enjoy reading her writing so much. Her ideas are fantastic, I adore her characters and all the stories are just such a joy to read.
I highly recommend this collection of short stories to everybody, as they would serve as an excellent introduction to her writing and they’re just a joy to read. I had to force myself to stop several times just so that I could properly enjoy each story instead of rushing through. This is also the first of my Fantasy Bingo challenges I’ve completed which is “A collection of short stories”.