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2007 book by Nnedi Okorafor (as Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu). When 15-year old Ejii witnesses her father's beheading, her world shatters. In an era of mind-blowing technology and seductive magic, Ejii embarks on a mystical journey to track down her father's killer. With a newfound friend by her side, Ejii comes face to face with an earth turned inside out -- and with her own magical powers.
But Ejii soon discovers that her travels across the sands of the Sahara have a greater purpose. Her people need to be protected from a force seeking to annihilate them. And Ejii may be just the hero to do it.
- Action Girl: Sarauniya Jaa.
- Back From the Dead: Ejii
- Bad Powers, Good People: Ejii and Dikeogu.
- Bamboo Technology: All of the technology on Ginen is made of plants.
- Casting a Shadow: Ejii is a "Shadow Speaker", or someone who can talk to shadows.
- City Planet: Ginen only has one habitable area.
- Continuity Nod: Ginen is the main setting of Okorafor's first book, Zahrah the Windseeker and windseekers are mentioned.
- Conspicuously Public Assassination: When Jaa beheads Ejii's father.
- Human Aliens: People from Ginen look like black Africans.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Dikeogu, at one point.
- The Magic Comes Back: After some sort of war, random magical things have been happening on Earth.
- Magical Land: Ginen, and Earth has become this to a certain degree.
- My Skull Runneth Over: What happened to the older Shadow Speaker in Ejii's village.
- Neo Africa: Ejii lives in a small village in Niger that is pretty poor but also has technology ranging from iPads to water creating devices.
- Polyamory: Jaa has 2 husbands.
- Power Incontinence: Dikeogu can't control when lightning strikes him.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Happens several times.
- The Quest: Ejii's quest to find Jaa, and then her, Dikeogu, Jaa and Jaa's husbands go to find Ginen.
- Rightful Queen Returns: Jaa returns to the town she ruled and beheads Ejii's father, who has taken over in her absence.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: When Dikeogu and Ejii get to Agadez, people assume they are lovers. Ejii uses this for her advantage and claims he is her husband so she will be thought of as an adult.
- Shock and Awe: Dikeogu, mostly involuntary.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Ejii can talk to animals, and many other inanimate objects.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Ejii's father's attitude.
- Talking Animal: Onion the camel.
- Technicolor Eyes: All shadow speakers have oddly light colored eyes (though it is never stated what color exactly they are).
- Telepathy/ The Empath: Ejii can search people's minds to find out their deepest secrets and feelings.
- Translator Microbes: Once someone enters Ginen, they immediately start speaking and understanding the language of Ginen.
- Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Takes place in 2070.