Tuesday 17 February 2015

Satans & Shaitans by Obinna Udenwe

Set against the backdrop of Nigeria's ongoing terrorism tensions, Satans and Shaitans tells the story of two powerful men, Chief Donald Amechi and world acclaimed televangelist, Chris Chuba, both members of an internationally renowned occult, the Sacred Order of the Universal Forces. 
Members of the occult from Southern Nigeria, desperate to gain control of their country, deceive an Islamic terrorist organisation into carrying out attacks in order to undermine and overrule the Nigerian President. 
This powerful story is one of morality, choices and consequence. 

Satans & Shaitans by Obinna Udenwe was published on 27 November 2014 by Jacaranda Books.

This novel is so far away from my usual choice of story, it's a leap out of my comfort zone, yet the blurb on the back really tempted me. I knew that I was in for a challenge, but I was determined that I wanted to read this one. I have always had a keen interest in other cultures and religions, and this story of terrorism, the occult and nationalism opens up a whole new world for me as a reader.

One of the most important elements of Satans & Shaitans is love. This is a love story, it is the story of two young people whose fathers are involved in the occult and whose desire for power in this turbulent country makes them terrorists.

Obinna Udenwe's writing is uncomplicated and simple to follow, the complexities of terror, jihad and culture within Nigeria are gently unfolded, and the reader is guided through these. There were times that I became confused, especially with the names, but his writing is very engaging, and I soon found my way back around the plot.

There is a lot going on in Satans & Shaitans; from murder to conspiracy theory, from love affair to undercover occult organisations, and whilst the writing flows easily, the plot is huge and the story covers lots of issues.

I am pleased that I read this story, and I feel that I know a little more about Nigeria, and the issues there, the author writes with authority and authenticity.

My thanks to Jazzmine from Jacaranda Books who sent my copy for review.

Obinna Udenwe is one of the most prolific young short story writers in Southern Nigeria. 
Born in Abakaliki to a political family, Obinna became politically active at a young age, leading Ebonyi State Children’s Parliament. 
In 2014 Obinna was named State Literary Icon and has been recognised for his services to youth development and democracy. 
He appears in various national and local Nigerian radio, TV and print media, and international blogs, on key issues such as terrorism, youth unemployment, entrepreneurship, children’s rights and governance. 
His stories have appeared in 2013 Stories Naija Anthology, The Short Story is Dead, Long Live the Short Story and Dreams at Dawn. He has also written for several literary magazines, including The Kalahari Review, Tribe-write, Flair Magazine, Brittle Paper, Outside in Literary & Travel Magazine, ANA Review, and more

Follow him on Twitter @udenweobinna   
Find out more on his blog http://obinnaudenwe.blogspot.co.uk/

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