AKATA WITCH Review, Wine Pairing, and Giveaway!


I am truly honored to participate in the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of this phenomenal novel. I was absolutely captivated and spellbound by Nnedi Okorafor’s brilliant storytelling. If you haven’t read this book yet, I sincerely recommend that you do before its highly-anticipated sequel, Akata Warrior, comes out on October 3rd.

About Akata Witch


World Fantasy Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor weaves together a story of magic, mystery, and finding one’s place in the world–for fans of Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones.

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a “free agent,” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?


Wine Pairing

I paired Akata Witch with this Leopard’s Leap Shiraz, both because the secret magical society in this book is made up of those known as the Leopard People, but also because Sunny must take a tremendous leap of faith to leave the life she knows behind and embark on a dangerous and unknown adventure.

My Review


I’ve heard this book referred to as the “Nigerian Harry Potter.” And after reading it, I can certainly understand why. This book is the most magical and immersive middle grade novel I’ve had the pleasure of reading, since the Harry Potter series. I was absolutely captivated and mesmerized by Nnedi Okorafor’s world building, character development, and story telling.

Nnedi’s prose, while lovely, also contains this enchanting humor that will prove wildly entertaining for readers of all ages.

The four main characters Sunny, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha are an absolute delight. They have such powerful voices and maintain a genuinely youthful playfulness while being forced into the position of becoming their world’s last hope against the evil that seeks to destroy it.

Nnedi incorporated some incredible themes throughout this novel. The adult Leopard People (magical people in this society) trust in these children to save their world. They demonstrate faith in the capabilities and intelligence of the youth in their society, something I truly would love to see more of in our own world.

I also loved the fact that Nnedi took things that would be considered physical oddities in our world and turned them into something that would give these children special abilities in the Leopard world. For example, Sunny is albino, which causes her to made fun of and ridiculed by her peers and others in the human world, but gives her a very special and powerful gift in the Leopard world.

This is definitely a book that deserves to be read widely and celebrated as the literary gem that it truly is. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, AKATA WARRIOR, which will be released in October of this year!

About the Author


Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University. She has been the winner of many awards for her short stories and young adult books, and won a World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death. Nnedi’s books are inspired by her Nigerian heritage and her many trips to Africa. She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. She can be contacted via her website, www.nnedi.com.

Enter the Giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) sets that include the paperback of AKATA WITCH and a galley of AKATA WARRIOR (ARV: $10.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on July 17th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 7, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Don’t Forget to Add Akata Warrior to Your Fall TBR!


A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound.


Follow the Blog Tour!

Thanks so much to Penguin Teen for hosting this blog tour! Be sure to check out all the amazing blog posts on the schedule below!

Week One:
July 17 – An AfroBoricua Reads – Review
July 18 – YA and Wine – Review & Wine Pairing
July 19 – A Page With A View – Top 10 Books for HP Fans
July 20 – NovelKnight – The Sorting Hat
July 21 – YA Wednesdays – Fashion Inspired by Akata Witch
Week Two:
July 24 – Wandering Bark Books – Spotlight 
July 25 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
July 26 – Dazzled by Books – Review 
July 27 – What Sarah Read – Review & Mood Board
July 28 – Alexa Loves Books – Review
Week Three:
July 31 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review 
August 1 – The YA Book Traveler
August 2 – Once Upon a Twilight – Spotlight
August 3 – Books 4 Your Kids
August 4 – Hollywood News Source – Akata Witch Excerpt

Have you read Akata Witch yet? Will you be reading it before Akata Warrior comes out in the fall? What are some of your favorite, magical MG novels?

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30 thoughts on “AKATA WITCH Review, Wine Pairing, and Giveaway!

  1. bookprincessreviews says:

    So very intriguing. I’ve heard this book mentioned a few times, but I always missed hearing what it is about. I’m definitely intrigued now. And those covers are so ridiculously cool! So much detail on them. And loved your wine pairing – it was cool how you got the leap in there as well. Wonderful review, Krysti! 🙂

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      It’s wonderful! I’m so glad that I read it. I hadn’t read a MG in FOREVER. And I absolutely loved it. Can’t recommend it highly enough!

      • bookprincessreviews says:

        Ohhhhhhh, it’s MG. Wow, I wish I had books like this back when I was reading MG. XD But it makes sense because she’s like, 12, right? Silly me. XD But it sounds SO cool, I might have to pick it up anyway. 😀

      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        Yes, it’s MG. And it’s wonderful! I mean, we had HP, but we didn’t have the diversity in books like this when we were young, or at least when I was young. LOL. I do highly, highly recommend it!

      • bookprincessreviews says:

        Yeah, no, I definitely don’t remember much. I remember there were a few really impactful novels but a lot of action novels were what I had where it was just let’s go climb a mountain or solve a mystery. XD

      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        LOL. That’s really true. MG is definitely hit or miss for me, which is probably why I don’t read a ton of it, but THIS. This is definitely a hit! So, so, so good!

      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        I totally agree with that, and I honestly don’t read it often to enough to even talk like I know that much about the category currently, but I really, really enjoyed this one! 🙂

  2. maggiederrick says:

    I saw someone post about Akata Witch just yesterday and before that I’d never heard of it! This much be the universe’s way of telling me to check it out!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Oh, awesome! You should definitely check it out. I think there will be a lot more buzz about it in the next couple months, since the sequel is coming out. It is definitely worth reading!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thank you! I think it can be difficult to find novels that are as captivating as this one is, so I definitely think you would enjoy it!

  3. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    I’ve heard so much about this book already and am really intrigued by it!! It sounds so good- especially it being the “Nigerian Harry Potter”- can’t get more intriguing than that!! Great review 😀

  4. John Smith says:

    “Have you read Akata Witch yet? Looking forward to the long-awaited follow-up, Akata Warrior?” I look forward to both!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      I hope you enjoy them! I am reading Akata Warrior next month, so I can’t speak to that one yet, but Akata Witch really is phenomenal!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. You will definitely enjoy it. It’s so well-written and just enchanting. Absolutely loved it! So excited for the sequel!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      I absolutely do as well. This one isn’t fantasy, but City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson is a contemporary set in Africa that came out this year that I loved! Have you read that one? And thank you!!!

  5. Danielle Lynn says:

    I haven’t read Akata Witch yet but have been hearing so much about this series lately that I just have to check into it. I love your wine pairing!

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