A number of people recommended Zoo City (by Lauren Beukes) to me and it sat on my kindle for months before I actually decided to give it a try – I can confirm that it is brilliant as everyone says!
A quick intro courtesy of Wikipedia:
Zoo City is set in an alternate version of the South African city of Johannesburg, in which people who have committed a crime are magically attached to an animal familiar – those who receive such punishment are said to be “animalled”. The novel’s chief protagonist, Zinzi December – who was “animalled” to a sloth after getting her brother killed – is a former journalist and recovering drug addict, and is attempting to repay the financial debt she owes her drug dealer by charging people for her special skill of finding lost objects, as well as making use of her writing abilities by drafting 419 fraud emails. The book’s plot focuses on Zinzi’s attempts to find the missing female member of a brother-and-sister pop duo for a music producer, in return for the money she needs to fully repay her dealer.
Science Fiction is not everyone’s cup of tea, but reading this for it’s unashamed South African-ness is reason enough alone. Beukes has a great writing style and combined with SA familiarities, it almost felt real – I wish there was more to read!
I’d LOVE to see this book turned into a film – it would make a great story and it would be amazing to see how they translate the whole animal vibe…
Definitely recommend this to anyone looking for something different and entertaining to read.