Winds of the Forest (Forestborn Book 1) by Dele Daniel
A Dystopian Novel published through Amazon Digital Services LLC (12/26/17)
Genesis Romunda is from the Arnazuri tribe in the post-apocalyptic West-African kingdom of Navia. She is an elite hunter like others in her community, but her tribe is considered the lowest of the four tribes in Navia. Historically, Arnazuri have always been subservient to the other tribes, providing meat for the others and only getting scraps in return. Some in Genesis’s tribe believe that this is an inequality that should not exist and start a rebellion. Genesis believes that a rebellion will only lead to trouble and death. To Genesis, young at 17, if the Arnazuri have always been a lower caste of society, then that is the way of things. But the rebellion brings about many changes, not just a negative response from the tribes in power but also a progressive response. Genesis is chosen as one of the first females and the only Arnazuri in history to go to an elite school for gifted children. Genesis has mixed feelings about being chosen to go to this elite school and leave her tribe in turmoil behind, but in her new home and new school she will discover that not everything she believed is true.
Surviving, Forest, Tribe, Power Imbalance, Politics, Power, Hunting, Death, Murder, Rebellion, University, Chosen, Gender Inequality, Racial Inequality, Romance, Escape, Prophecy, History, West African Kingdom, Status Quo, Role, Government, Roommates, Rules, Curfew
Like many post-apocalyptic novels, the remaining humanity is forced to live in a small portion of what’s habitable of earth. One of the first reasons I took to this novel was due to its setting. It’s not North America, nor is it a common setting for most books I read. This book was set in a modern day West Africa. Already off to a good start, the book showed me a more diverse post-apocalyptic culture than most dystopian fiction.
I was conflicted about Genesis. At times I liked her, and at other times I didn’t. In the beginning of the novel she is very attached to her sense of the world, her opinions, and her beliefs which I absolutely love. She is a protagonist who can influence her immediate environment, even in a tribe that is considered less valuable and less smart than the other tribes. There doesn’t seem to be any gender inequality in her tribe. She can hunt like her male friend Remington and she can fight him on equal footing. When Genesis’s world is put into chaos and she is told that she is going to Promenade, the elite school outside of her own community, I was elated. Now we get to see her among the peers even she considers better than herself. Perhaps we will be shown that her beliefs are wrong, that the world’s beliefs are wrong, and everything will change. But this is not so. Genesis, as an Arnazuri, lives in a third world setting compared to the other tribes and has no realistic hope of being their equals in knowledge and experience. She also doesn’t show a great capacity to learn (is never shown excelling in classes) and is even duped by those around her. She is like a passenger in her own story. Not only that, but there is also an element of gender inequality and discrimination outside of Arnazuri that I didn’t think was necessary and made me frustrated.
This book’s plot was inconsistent and some of the plot points felt incongruous with the rest of the writing. For example, Genesis gets caught out after curfew and this creates a conflict that pulls the plot along. This part never felt genuine and also showed Genesis to be air headed and sloppy. Because the book felt like it lacked an outline and the writing style itself was a bit clunky, it took me weeks to finish. I did want to finish and find out what happened as the author had created enough intrigue with his clever use of Jason’s inner knowledge (I won’t say of what because it would be a spoiler).
This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services LLC on 12/26/2017 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 3.25
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