Onyeka and The Academy of the Sun [1]

Author:

Tola Okogwu

Title:

Onyeka and The Academy of the Sun [1]

Publisher:

Simon & Schuster

Nataka Books Reviews: 

Onyeka and The Academy of the Sun [1]

Onyeka has special powers that require harnessing and immediately bestow a responsibility on her from an early age. Onyeka, or Yeka, or to give her her full name, Onyekachi Adeyemi Aderinola, must therefore attend AOS, the Academy of the Sun to build on knowledge that her mother has given her.


Tola Okugwu weaves a beautiful tale of the superhero. The use of true voices by the characters adds context, depth and originality. YA readers will be led to learn about Ogbunike Caves, Fibonacci Numbers or Cowrie Shells which were currency. There are so many layers and stories within the story.

Nataka Books Full Review: 

Onyeka and The Academy of the Sun [1]

Synopsis:


Onyeka has a lot of hair­—the kind that makes strangers stop in the street and her peers whisper behind her back. At least she has Cheyenne, her best friend, who couldn’t care less what other people think. Still, Onyeka has always felt uncomfortable with her vibrant curls…until the day Cheyenne almost drowns and Onyeka’s hair takes on a life of its own, inexplicably pulling Cheyenne from the water.

At home, Onyeka’s mother tells her the shocking truth: Onyeka’s psycho-kinetic powers make her a Solari, one of a secret group of people with super powers unique to Nigeria. Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies.


Nataka Books Review:


Onyeka has special powers that require harnessing and immediately bestow a responsibility on her from an early age. Onyeka, or Yeka, or to give her her full name, Onyekachi Adeyemi Aderinola, must therefore attend AOS, the Academy of the Sun to build on knowledge that her mother has given her thus far for dealing with her Solari acquired powers. 


Onyeka's mother is overwhelmed and advises her daughter, "I have spent years hoping and praying that your father would come back. Fearing the day your powers would finally show up." Fibonacci numbers which help slow down her heartbeat in challenging moments can only go so far in giving Onyeka control. 


The complete taming of her powers will come from learning from others as well as by experience at the AOS. Against her wishes, Onyeka attends AOS where the search for Ike, source of Solari and undestanding of the H-O-M-E, the Holographic Offensive Multisensory Environment, can begin under the tutelage of Dr Doyinbo. Will Onyeka learn to harness her powers and find the source of her powers?


Tola Okugwu weaves a beautiful tale of the superhero who relies not only on herself and the knowledge she acquires from those around her and gained experience, but also shows the care and responsibility that the powers of Onyeka bestow on her, and to a large extent this affects those around her: Niyi, Hassan, Cheyenne, Adanna, Dr Naomi and Dr Doyinbo.


The writing maintains a good pace, has an easy to follow narrative, and the clarity with which the characters express themselves lends well to all readers especially YA. The use of true voices by the characters adds context, depth and originality. When deciding on a path to take, Hassan says, "Abeg, make we follow another way." There is no other voice for Hassan.


The innocence at the heart of the story is well-fitting with the only challengers being the 'Rogues', or they can help? This book will encourage reading with the Nigerian setting allowing further engagement with the characters. YA readers will be led to learn about Ogbunike Caves, Fibonacci Numbers or Cowrie Shells which were currency. There are so many layers and stories within the story.


Find out if the Solari have been defending Nigeria and if Onyeka and her friends will be the ones to save the day? Can children do this? What will Onyeka do about the Solari?


-- Review by Nataka Books