Title: Bonfires of the Gods
Author: Andrew Eseimokomu Oki
Publication Date: 5 February 2019
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley
In the wake of violent outbursts over the creation of a new local government area by the then military regime, two warring tribes, the Ijaws and the Itsekiris with an age-old ax to grind come head to head in a bloody and brutal battle for land ownership throwing a once peaceful and lovable city into chaos.
Set in March of 1997 in the war-torn city of Warri, Nigeria, Bonfires of the Gods tells heartrending fictitious accounts of real-life experiences of people who had suffered great losses during the violent outrage. It tells a story of love and hate, of life and death, and of a quest for survival in one’s own homeland.
Bonfires of the Gods is a fictitious account of a real event, told from the viewpoints of several characters caught up in the violence. I knew nothing of this clash before reading, so in that respect it was interesting and informative. I also liked the various characters, and how they offered us a glimpse at what was happening from some very different angles. Unfortunately, though, I had trouble with the prose. It was full of errors, including typos, grammatical mistakes, repetition, and misused words and phrases. To be fair, I was reading this as an ARC, so it may not have been a final copy; however, there were more problems than I would expect to see in a book simply awaiting a final proofread. That spoilt the piece for me, because the issues in the text kept pulling me out of the story. As such, I am giving it three stars. It was an interesting read, and it had great potential, but it was let down by its prose. A solid round of edits and I might have been at the four-star mark.