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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
Badoo’s girlfriend, Sade, has called him every night since they first started dating, the only exception being the period between her death and the day she was buried. At first, the Nigerian police officer thinks the calming herbs Pa Fakunle gave him are causing hallucinations, but then Sade calls again. Badoo’s cell phone service provider thinks he’s a prank caller and when he tries to talk his boss into opening an investigation into Sade’s disappearance, he ends up being sent for psychiatric evaluation. While Badoo suffers this strange, personal crisis, the question arises of whether Nigeria should adopt the use of the law enforcement robots that are so popular in the Allied Nations, but Badoo cannot protest against this issue unless he’s declared to be sane.
Anjorin seamlessly merges the ancient magic of traditional healers with a 22nd-century Nigeria where police robots are the norm in parts of the world. Badoo’s efforts to move on with Bunmi result in acts of vengeance from Sade that are both humorous and chilling at once. Badoo’s sense of pride and culture as both a Yoruba and an African is keenly felt even though he is also very much a modern man. Anjorin paints this world in broad strokes, building a picture of global politics through small details in the narrative rather than exposition. This includes several surprising details, one being that the Christian rapture has occurred. Excellent pacing and tender, atmospheric prose make this novella difficult to put down. I also enjoyed reading the poems that appear between several chapters. The Night My Dead Girlfriend Called is a tour de force straddling both literary and speculative fiction genres.