Mini Reviews: Anoka & Remote Control



ANOKA by Shane Hawk: 
Anoka, Minnesota is a small city located just outside of the Twin Cities dubbed “The Halloween Capital of the World” since 1937. Shane Hawk has put together a collection of stories touching many topics that all take place in Anoka. Within this collection you’ll find tales of bone collectors, pagan witches, werewolves, skeletal bison, and cloned children. Each of the stories explores themes of family, grief, loneliness, and identity through the lens of indigenous life.

ANOKA packs an incredible punch within it’s 84 pages! Each story stands on it’s own in making the reader uncomfortable and forcing them to reflect on the deeper undertones within them. One of the things that made this collection an absolute winner for me was that Hawk included a brief explanation of his thought process behind each story at the end of the book. He encourages the reader to read them when they complete the story and many times I found myself rereading the stories after I knew his insight to find pieces I had missed. 4 ⭐️!

REMOTE CONTROL by Nnedi Okorafor:
“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind her. Death guards her like one of its own.”

The Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From this day forward she was known as Sankofa, a name that meant nothing to those around her, but held her last link to family and her past. Sankofa’s touch is death. Not only does her touch destroy all machines, but her glance can kill an entire town. Sankofa wanders from town to town alone except for her fox companion. She is searching for the object that came from the sky on the day the meteors fell. The object she took into her possession on the last day she felt unchanged. 

Wow, wow, wow! REMOTE CONTROL is a science fiction novella that contains a unique folklore element, which combined becomes a story that examines human nature. Sankofa is only seven-years-old when her world and her body completely change. She is left to understand her unique ability without a support system and a world that has turned it’s back on her. Okorafor does an incredible job of showing the diverse reactions of individuals meeting Sankofa, ranging from fear to support, and how each of those interactions contributes to forming Sankofa’s character and determining her actions. This book is beautifully written and completely sweeps the reader away! 4 ⭐️!

ANOKA: Amazon 

REMOTE CONTROL: Amazon Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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