Review: A Magic Door and a Lost Kingdom of Peace

(Credit: Donahue Johnson)

(Credit: Donahue Johnson)

I believe that the best fiction has the ability to transport a reader to new worlds and make them believe in it heart and soul. If you’re interested in fiction and fantasy, the newest book by Hugh Hunter 13C, former EIC of Black Star Magazine, should be your next read. A Magic Door and A Lost Kingdom of Peace is a collection of short stories that explores several different realities. Even though the stories are not related to one another in terms of content and the worlds that they occupy, they are all linked by strong imagery, tension in their respective plots, and powerful language. The plot twists thrown in here and there are excellent as well (no spoilers here—you’ll have to find out for yourselves).

Each story stands on its own and is satisfying, which speaks to Hunter’s ability to tell a concise and complete story. I was blown away by how well Hunter created the world of “Purr-lem” in “Big Redd Writing ‘Hood”; the story is a bit more innocent than others in the collection, but it shows just how well Hunter can create entire worlds. If you like puns, you’ll love this story.

The variety of subject matter and the level of fantasy in the collection provides something enjoyable for every reader. Every story in the collection is relatable regardless of the societies and realities within them. I found myself picturing the Hatari forest, the courses in Gridlock, and laughing along with the citizens of The Southern District. It is a truly engaging work, and I look forward to reading more of Hunter’s work.

  Hunter’s book is available for Kindle on Amazon.

Ashley Graham, Lifestyle Editor

Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah follows the lives of high school sweethearts Ifemelu and Obinze as they set their sights on dreams of living in the West. Through their time away from Nigeria they experience the harsh realities of racism and the struggles of living undocumented lives. Through all of the triumphs they have and the trials they go through, Obinze and Ifemelu never lose their feelings for each other as they explore race, identity, and a sense of belonging in new societies.

This novel is extremely well written, both because Adichie is incredibly skilled at writing fiction and because she does not sugarcoat the truth when it comes to racism and living as an undocumented citizen. The story is relatable, funny in all of the right places, and a truly heartwarming read.

Many of my favorite authors have mastered the art of scene writing, to the point where I can vividly picture places and people that I’ve never seen. Adichie is one of those masters for me. Her insight into Nigerian culture is all show and just enough tell, another skill that not many can master even after years of writing. You’ll feel right at home no matter where you are in the story, almost as if you’re experiencing everything right alongside the characters.

I appreciate Adichie’s honest and powerful story of love and triumph and the care she took to write such a beautiful work. If you can, this is definitely a wonderful read to have in your spare time. 


Ashley Graham, Lifestyle Editor