Book Review – A Conspiracy of Ravens

 A Conspiracy of Ravens by Othuke Ominiabohs

For starters, this title came highly recommended. Since ordering this book. (3 score weeks ago) I have dragged my feet making/creating excuses of being busy while I uhh… well toiled away at work, a few events and even got time to binge watch a few shows. Oh well, so it was with excitement that I went to see the author do a book reading at the Kigali Public Library (Photo evidence below). The sections the Othuke read from were riveting and I cursed myself for not having read it yet. Anyway fast forward to 2 days ago.

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Meeting the Original Kaboya and his scions.

A beg broda, you dey engage my narcissism now, Nah so? “

Fierce Rwandan Hairdo

That haircut though. Bringing retro back.

Over my life, I have met with a couple of people who for some reason tell me that we have met before. Ama, by show of hands how many of you have had this incident happen to you? You are at some obscure place you have never been to and along comes this person who tells you that you have met before. Not in the “I am interested in you” kind of way but in a truthful way. Girls may be familiar with the occasional guy who tries this all too corny pickup line but this is not one of those. I will give examples just to make this a little clear. Read More…

The Switch in Football

Anyone who knows me knows about my profound love for the game of football (or that other worst of American words for it that I dare not honor by naming it).

Allow me to digress a bit.

Wool by Hugh Howey (Book Review)

It’s been a while since I read a sci-fi/imaginative book where someone engrosses you in their new world of fictional characters/environment, yet makes it seem so real. The last ones I read were the Harry Potter Series, JRR Tolkien and some book about Galactic Mileu’s in 2006. George Martin’s GOT looked interesting but the Movies already spoilt everything.. I love sci-fi books for the level of imagination involved.

So it was with excitement that I read about a Sci-Fi book that was making sound waves on the internets. A story line which some author posted online. To add on to the hype, a good friend recommended so on keen review I decided to get a copy of Wool.
And did it appoint (uhmm not disappoint)

So let’s dive in.
The setting:
The first installment in Hugh Howey’s Dust trilogy Wool is set in a future world where the environment outside is so harsh that the air could kill you. Humans have evolved to live in underground silos that follow a strict set of rules. The silo is set up such that people live on levels of a long stairway that goes on to the lowest of their kind. At the top there is the leaders of the silo (Mayor, Sherrif, and their assistants), then there is IT, the farms, Supply, a few more levels and the Mechanics at the bottom. The mechanics manage the generators at the bottom that provide power to the silo. Transportation between levels is by porters and one can only move up if they are invited. The hierarchy is also social. For every birth that comes into the world, a death must occur.
One’s silo is one’s world. Those in a silo have to follow certain rules. Not ask questions, or be difficult or they are set out for cleaning. (More on that later)

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Winding Staircase in Silo (GoodReads)

The world outside is harsh, and the only view the silo has is from the top. When a person is sent for cleaning, they are sent out into the harsh environment and before they die/get burnt, they clean the view for those in the silo.

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Artist rendering of outside the silo (Imgur)

The book starts off with the Sheriff who voluntarily goes for cleaning as he can’t take the loss of his wife any longer. We discover that the wife had stumbled on some evidence of a past world and was sent to cleaning for this. After this there is need for a new sheriff and this is when the action gets interesting. Hugh Howey slowly weaves you around a tale that is full of suspense. The characters feel real and one finds themselves living in the world of the protagonist (Julie, a candidate for sheriff) and the forces against her. She is from down under, a mechanic who should not be moving up. The story evolves at just the right pace. To a point the people in the silo has to wonder how life is as it is. Maybe their ancestors were wrong all along.

Strengths:
The world which Howey creates is every bit real and one feels drawn in. The mark of a good sci-fi writer. It would be interesting to see the movie that would be made out of it. The world feels so unworldly yet so real. Another strength is the pacing. The story draws on at a steady pace keeping you in suspense. One has no clue what’s happening next through most of the story. Aside from the slight hope that our heroine Jules will survive.

The characters are also quite fully formed. Methodically, Howey introduces the characters and one gets an intimate understanding of their view and their actions.

Weaknesses:
At some point, the story lines became too many. Every chapter felt like another distant part of the story. However, Howey brings the pieces together later on. Secondly, it would have been good to know more about how all this world came to be. However I guess this will have to wait for the next book in the trilogy.

Much as this is a good addition to the sci-fi genre. It feels at par with the really good ones but its a bit mellow. Mellow in that I do not see it surpassing the Harry Potters, GOT or Hunger Games in terms of followership/readership or fanaticism.

All in all, Wool was a good read and at a time when I was looking for a Sci-fi book to read, twas perfect. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking into the genre. Its well paced, thrilling, engrossing and you will definitely enjoy the Silo World, Jules world. Looking forward to reading the next one in this installment. 🙂

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Hugh Howey

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – Book Review

Born a Crime is coming of age story by the famous South African comedian Trevor Noah. If you follow the world of Comedy, surely you must know Trevor Noah. The always on the up comedian that rose out of South Africa and is now making audiences world over laugh. Well aside from comedy he has gone on to take over from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show, a satirical weekly news show in the USA. Who takes over from Jon Stewart? I mean, seriously who does? A position where he has managed to carry on consistently, making America laugh at itself, the politics, culture, society never ending melodrama, an unenviable role. Personally, I am a huge fan of his and have followed his shows from when he started out. (circa 2009) He is my favorite comedian. I have seen all his standup specials and even went to see him live once when by luck he was in a city I was in, Pittsburgh early 2016. (And he didn’t disappoint!)

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Dear Dad,

He must be smiling from up high.

Baba Twino

Dear Dad,

Greetings, from this world of the living. How is that one, of souls, treating you?

It is, today, exactly two years, two unfathomable years, since you have been gone. Two years! I have been meaning to write to you, but for either the consumption of the numerous activities which make my world, or the dearth of concentration, it has been a rather unfortunate endeavour. I cannot even choose.

That, is how lost I have been without you. Not so many know, but I have not done much well enough. I have neither slept nor eaten well, and more. My everything-is-fine smile has helped me keep many at bay – well, only those that I can. Dealing with the pain is still a dream. My wounds are still rather quite fresh. I have been endlessly lobotomized. I am sad, broken, and lonely – more than ever before. However, you…

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Every single hair that I have lost from my head is because of that boy

Originally published on Medium in 2013 here. For your reading pleasure. Herego,

“A personal life reflection on Cecil Gaines movie, The Butler”

Every single hair that I have lost from my head is because of that boy.

On a boring chill Sunday, I was with the homies and after a full day of moving stuff to a new apartment, we were dead tired. Alex and John had just moved to new apartments.

With nothing cool and relaxing to do, we decided to head out for a movie. Apparently, all the beers had run out. It was Armageddon. Alex was too tired to even watch the movie so he slept in the car while John and I went to watch the movie. What boring times can make you do. Nothing more manly than watching a movie. (You already know!) Read More…

The time of the game

In 2010 while still a sophomore at Oklahoma Christian, this was one of the pieces I wrote for the Talon (The School Newspaper) linked  here. [Spoiler Alert] It is about… dont wait for it… Football. Could I be any more predictable. I think not.

It is copied below… Verbatim. Hope you enjoy.

The Beauty of Football

by Guest Writer

Written by: Timothy Kaboya

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Joining the “Taking Stock” Bandwagon

Closeup image of notepad with pen.

Closeup image of notepad with pen.

Apparently, in the blogging world there is this thing called “Taking stock”. Everyone is doing it, big or small, young or old. Some do it in their houses, others in their cars. Even on the street Some even by themselves. Well I figured I should also do it.

Here we go.
Making: A quick breakfast right about now.

Cooking: Nothing, nassing. But last weekend, I fried some eggs and well made Kisyanga. That’s millet porridge.

Drinking:  Read More…

Shut up and Listen

Here is a copy of my recent article about Aid and how one can help without being condescending.

It was featured in Oklahoma Christian’s newspaper in paper and print

How can you help without being condescending?

This is an interesting question and one I think everybody should consider before they think of giving. Google defines “Condescending” as “acting in a way that betrays a feeling of patronizing superiority.” Read More…