Review: Abiku: A Battle of Gods

Abiku-A-Battle-Of-Gods-Amazon-Book-CoverI first encountered Abiku: A Battle of Gods by Elizabeth Salawu as a press release on my Twitter timeline. I read the synopsis and thought, “that sounds like something different” and sometimes that’s all the reason you need, so I took the plunge and requested an advance review copy.
What I got was something pleasantly different indeed! Abiku starts off with a “dear reader”, to which I said out loud, “ooh, me?” and takes off from there. This is a short read, but don’t let that fool you–I was fully engaged the entire time, flipping each digital page with anticipation of where the story was going next.
I have to say my favorite thing about Abiku is Dayo herself. Dayo is interesting to me because…wait for it…we didn’t have much in common at all! She’s everything I wish I was at her age. In tune with herself! Exciting! Outgoing! Witty! Well, I can be witty, but. It’s not a bad thing to read protagonists much different from ourselves, in fact I loved living vicariously through her. She reminds me a bit of Alex from A Clockwork Orange (went there) when the narrative switches from being pensive and philosophical and then back to breezy, sometimes salacious storytelling.
Ah, the story. I was very happy to read something featuring Yoruba religious customs and myth, and Dayo guides us along without too much exposition but I also didn’t feel lost. And for personal reasons I get excited for anything involving Pidgin.

Now, as awesome as this book is it isn’t a read for everyone–it features sexual elements that make it a bit saucier than your average lunch break read (unless you can do that kind of thing where you are, then carry on). But I would say it was well integrated into the plot so as not to feel superfluous, and I appreciated the focus on Dayo learning who and what she truly is, and exploring her own desires.

Sometimes things just fall into your lap at seven in the morning before your first cup of coffee–I’m glad I took a chance on Dayo’s story, and I hope you’ll give it a chance as well. It’s not due out until September 16th, but you can pre-order it here.