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War Girls
Cover of War Girls
War Girls
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Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much...
Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much...
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  • Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.
    The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.
    In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.
    Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.
    And they're willing to fight an entire war to get there.
    Acclaimed author, Tochi Onyebuchi, has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    1

    Southeastern Nigeria

    April 2172

    The first thing Onyii does every morning is take off her arm. Other War Girls have gotten used to sleeping without their arms or their legs. But Onyii's phantom limb haunts her in her sleep. In her dreams, she has all her arms and legs and can run. She can run far and fast and away from whatever is chasing her. She can hold her rifle, and she can aim, and she can feel her face with all of her fingers. But then she'd wake up and try to touch her body with a right arm that wasn't there anymore. She never got accustomed to waking up without all of her body there, so now she sleeps with her arm attached, even though sometimes she accidentally crushes and bends some of the machinery. Even though the sweat from her night terrors rusts some of the more delicate circuitry. Even though she wakes every morning with the imprint of metal plates on her cheek. Which is why she gets up earlier than the rest of the camp and spends the quiet morning hours at her bedside station, oiling the gears and tinkering with the chips. In the darkness, the sparks from the metal as she works are the only light in her tent.

    Ify sleeps through all of it.

    Onyii takes a moment to listen to Ify snore. The birds outside have just started their chirping, but they're still quiet enough that Onyii can hear Ify's patterns. Two smooth snores, then a hiccup. Onyii's dreams are a blur of chaos and blood and screaming. Flashes of gunfire. Rain falling hard but never hard enough to wash the tears from her face. Ify's face is serene in slumber, the tribal scars soft ridges on her cheeks. Her lips turn up at the edges. For almost her entire life, the child has only known peace.

    When Onyii finishes, she disconnects her arm from its station and places it against the spot where her shoulder ends. She'd left that battle long ago with a stump. But the doctors had had to cut away the rest of the arm, because it had gotten infected. Now there is only mesh wiring over the opening, so that her socket is more like a power outlet than anything else. Nanobots buzz out of the metal arm socket, trailing wires. The threading then attaches the metal to her flesh. Electricity shocks through her body—a small burst like scraping feet against carpet then touching a doorknob. Then she's able to flex her fingers. She tries out her elbow joints, bends the arm, swings it slowly back and forth, rotating the shoulder, then stretches and lets out a massive yawn. She waits until she's outside the tent to let out her gas.

    The world is green and wet with recent rain. The dew hasn't yet dried from the grass. Leaves bend on their tree branches overhead.

    Wind whips about her. Engines scream overhead, and Onyii looks up just in time to see aerial mechs, massive humanoid robots, with green and white stripes painted on their shoulders, screech through the sky, as they've been doing for the past year. Shoulder cannons and thrusters attached to their compact bodies. State-of-the-art nav systems. Yet they can't detect the rebel Biafran camp right under their noses. As long as the signal dampener they rigged to hide this outpost from the Nigerian authorities is up and running, they're safe. The government forces can't even see the rebel flag waving right below them. A blue background with half of a yellow sun at its bottom, golden rays radiating outward like lightning bolts.

    Onyii stretches her flesh-and-blood arm and shoulder, arches her back and listens to the cracks ripple up her spine, then shakes herself loose. She's still wearing only her bedclothes—a compression bra and athletic shorts that stick to her in the heavy Delta humidity—but...

About the Author-

  • Tochi Onyebuchi is a writer based in Connecticut. He holds a BA from Yale, an MFA in screenwriting from Tisch, and a JD from Columbia Law School. Tochi is the author of Beasts Made of Night and Crown of Thunder.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from September 9, 2019
    In the year 2172, a civil war rages in Nigeria as the Republic of Biafra fights for independence in battles using advanced tech and giant mechs. War Girl Onyii, a Biafran rebel and former child soldier with a bionic arm, has made a safe place away from the war with her comrades and younger sister, Ify, a brilliant hacker who has created an Accent, a tiny technological wonder that “reveal the series of lines and nodes of net connectivity that bind everything—and everyone—together.” When their camp is attacked, Onyii is left alive and drawn back into the fight; Ify, captured, is taken to the glittering glass city of Abuja. Four years later, Ify is a trusted confidant to her now powerful kidnapper but questions the treatment of young Biafran prisoners, while Onyii has become a killing machine known as the Demon of Biafra. Their divergent paths, forged in violence, shape them indelibly, ensuring they will never be the same. Onyebuchi’s action-packed, high-stakes tale of loyalty, sisterhood, and the transformative power of love and hope brims with imaginative future tech and asks important questions about the human cost of war, mechanization, and artificial intelligence. Set amid the horrors of war in a world ravaged by climate change and nuclear disaster, this heart-wrenching and complex page-turner, drawn from the 1960s Nigerian civil war, will leave readers stunned and awaiting the second installment. Ages 12–up. Agent: Noah Ballard, Curtis Brown Ltd.

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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