The Ducktrinors: Reading the Past from the Future (A Review By Tohib Adejumo)

Front cover the DucksReviews are works of literature that critics use to tell people about books. They give the summary of the book, praise some aspects of it – if they like it, or criticize both the writing and the writer to the tee should they find it unlikeable, and then give their overall take on the work. Well, in the next two to four paragraphs, I will be doing a literary exercise akin to a review on Papatia Feauxzar’s The Ducktrinors, but without all the formalities.

Let’s start.

See, I like the book. The characters are so real even though the book is a sci-fi. Yes, you heard it right. A Muslim fiction not talking about marriage and divorce, but telling of a future, which may not be as far from us as we might like to think. The book tells of a future, a time of anarchy, of oppression, of immorality, of a point where people of faith are pushed to the fringes – no scratch that –a time when they are pushed away from identifying with their faiths. But, in this time, there are few people willing and itching to restore sanity back to the world, and that’s where Hanifa, Our Heroine, comes in.

Oh yes, I love that Hanifa girl. Feauxzar sure knows how to make out a perfect character through making her full of zeal, brain, wisdom, and imperfections. The girl is on a mission, but the mission doesn’t turn her into an angel. Although Hanifa is living in the days of utter moral decadence and she’s devoting all of herself to battle the incubators of these wayward lifestyle, the Seculars, she’s still a young woman with fantasies, crushes, and… well, go read yourself!

Okay, these are the three things I like most about the book:

·         The characters: They’re not extra-ordinary Muslims without pitfalls. Rather, they’re Muslims struggling like every other Muslim. And on top of that, they’re on a mission. Once again, Hanifa, you will fall in love with her. And you’re sure to like Dawud, the young spy and master of technology, too.

·         The Subtle Mirror: The book is set in the future with a mirror of nostalgia. This shows the brilliance of Feauxzar. She makes the book inform us in subtle ways how problems such us sectarianism and group mentalities can be handled through a sneak into the future.

·         The Déjà vu:  Yes, you can read the battle of Badr from the story. When you see the characters in action, you’re quickly thrown back in time, and you experience a double connection – reading the past from the future.

The Ducktrinorsis the first of its kind in the realm of Muslim fiction, and it is a powerful, poignant, and compelling one. Feauxzar has given us a wonderful, insightful, and interesting work of fiction to enjoy and give to our young ones. They – young ones – will be able to get a kick out of the sci-fi of the fiction and lessons out of the signs of the Last Day embedded in it. And oh, lest I forget: you can remove a romance writer from romance fiction, but you cannot remove romance fiction from her, so while the fate of the thenummah may be resting on the shoulders of  Hanifa Ducktrinor, there may still be time for, well, a tiny bit of romance…

 

~Tohib Adejumo is a Nigerian blogger and the author of Love in Ramadan. He spent most of his childhood and adolescent years inIbadan, Nigeria where he attended Ad-Din International School. He graduated from Government College, Ibadan in 2009 and he holds a degree in Liberal Arts from Borough of Manhattan Community College. He is currently a baccalaureate scholar at Hunter College of the City University of New York where he focuses on Socio-Cultural Psychology and African History and Politics. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.~

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