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The Hero of Numbani

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In the technologically advanced African city of Numbani, in the not-so-distant future, humans live in harmony with humanoid robots known as omnics. But when a terrorist tries to shatter that unity, a hero named Efi Oladele rises! Efi has been making robots since she was little-machines to better her community and improve people's lives. But after she witnesses Doomfist's ca In the technologically advanced African city of Numbani, in the not-so-distant future, humans live in harmony with humanoid robots known as omnics. But when a terrorist tries to shatter that unity, a hero named Efi Oladele rises! Efi has been making robots since she was little-machines to better her community and improve people's lives. But after she witnesses Doomfist's catastrophic attack on the city's OR15 security bots, Efi feels the call to build something greater: a true guardian of Numbani. While Doomfist sows discord between humans and omnics, Efi engineers an intelligent and compassionate robot, Orisa, named after the powerful spirits who guide her people. Orisa has a lot to learn before she's ready to defeat Doomfist, but Efi has some learning to do, too, especially when it comes to building-and being-a hero. With Doomfist rallying his forces, and the military powerless to stop him, can Efi mold Orisa into the hero of Numbani before it's too late? This action-packed novel features the fan-favorite characters Efi, Orisa, Doomfist, and Lúcio in an all-new, original story straight from the minds of the Overwatch game team and critically acclaimed author Nicky Drayden!


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In the technologically advanced African city of Numbani, in the not-so-distant future, humans live in harmony with humanoid robots known as omnics. But when a terrorist tries to shatter that unity, a hero named Efi Oladele rises! Efi has been making robots since she was little-machines to better her community and improve people's lives. But after she witnesses Doomfist's ca In the technologically advanced African city of Numbani, in the not-so-distant future, humans live in harmony with humanoid robots known as omnics. But when a terrorist tries to shatter that unity, a hero named Efi Oladele rises! Efi has been making robots since she was little-machines to better her community and improve people's lives. But after she witnesses Doomfist's catastrophic attack on the city's OR15 security bots, Efi feels the call to build something greater: a true guardian of Numbani. While Doomfist sows discord between humans and omnics, Efi engineers an intelligent and compassionate robot, Orisa, named after the powerful spirits who guide her people. Orisa has a lot to learn before she's ready to defeat Doomfist, but Efi has some learning to do, too, especially when it comes to building-and being-a hero. With Doomfist rallying his forces, and the military powerless to stop him, can Efi mold Orisa into the hero of Numbani before it's too late? This action-packed novel features the fan-favorite characters Efi, Orisa, Doomfist, and Lúcio in an all-new, original story straight from the minds of the Overwatch game team and critically acclaimed author Nicky Drayden!

30 review for The Hero of Numbani

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ivana - Diary of Difference

    Being a huge fan of Overwatch, I literally cannot wait to read this one! Orisa is one of my favorite tanks, alongside Zarya and D'va, even though I am a Moira main. And given the fact that Doomfist is the most annoying hero of them all, we all know who I will be rooting for in this book! I cannot wait until it's available in the UK. I am so hyped for this!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    So excited there's finally going to be Overwatch novels! It's been my gaming obsession for the year, and whenever I play tank I usually pick Orisa. It would be awesome if there's one for all of the heroes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marcelle Cooper

    I tried to read this novel from the perspective of someone who isn’t a devoted fan of Overwatch, and I failed pretty hard. The book is filled with little hints and Easter eggs that will bring a smile to your face if you know the game's lore, but won’t distract you if you don’t. I’m surprised at how compelling a character Efi was, and how adorable Drayden managed to make Orisa. I found myself more invested in this story than I thought I would be, and rooting for them even after their many blunders I tried to read this novel from the perspective of someone who isn’t a devoted fan of Overwatch, and I failed pretty hard. The book is filled with little hints and Easter eggs that will bring a smile to your face if you know the game's lore, but won’t distract you if you don’t. I’m surprised at how compelling a character Efi was, and how adorable Drayden managed to make Orisa. I found myself more invested in this story than I thought I would be, and rooting for them even after their many blunders. If I have any complaints it’s that the more heavy-handed of the game references can feel forced. Overwatch players love their voice lines, so I expected to see some integrated into the dialogue. This was done very well with Orisa. However, with characters like Lucio and Doomfist, it was pretty cringy. Also when a few the game’s abilities were used, there wasn’t much effort put into describing how they worked or even how they looked. I imagine if I didn’t already have inside knowledge, I could have easily been confused. Overall, it’s a great read if you’re an Overwatch fan, and still pretty fun if you’re not.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Thiago Souza

    Obrigatório para qualquer fã de Overwatch! Um livro cheio de referências e com a participação de personagens que o coração chega a pular quando aparece. A história é bem simples, mas não deixa de dar um quentinho no coração com as cenas da Efi e Orisa interagindo. Apesar de não dar muita exposição de Lore, ele da informação o suficiente para ser interessante e que enriquece o mundo. É uma leitura super fluída e rápida. Ele tem uma audiência mais infanto juvenil, o que eu achei estranho no início Obrigatório para qualquer fã de Overwatch! Um livro cheio de referências e com a participação de personagens que o coração chega a pular quando aparece. A história é bem simples, mas não deixa de dar um quentinho no coração com as cenas da Efi e Orisa interagindo. Apesar de não dar muita exposição de Lore, ele da informação o suficiente para ser interessante e que enriquece o mundo. É uma leitura super fluída e rápida. Ele tem uma audiência mais infanto juvenil, o que eu achei estranho no início, mas considerando que a protagonista tem 11 anos faz sentido. E isso não tira a relevância dos acontecimentos e até casa com o tema da história. Brasil muito bem representado pela autora com várias citações da nossa cultura, e é muito interessante de ler sendo Brasileiro, é algo que eu pessoalmente nunca senti. A cultura Africana também foi muito representada, abordando suas mitologias e costumes. E é isso que é Overwatch: o mundo com toda a sua diversidade se unindo para defendê-lo. Pontos negativo: Personagens secundários que acompanham o dia a dia da Efi são bem desinteressantes e eu senti uma falta de profundamento do meio pro final, com se fosse algo escrito as pressas. Ele deixa certos assuntos em aberto, e isso provavelmente foi proposital para próximas obras, mas eu ainda senti falta de um "fechamento" maior.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alan Castree

    The first Overwatch book and it was enjoyable for the most part... just don't expect anything major to happen. Basically this is a story about how Efi and her friends had a heck of a time making the Orisa we know today, and how Doomfist's chaos is the reason for progress. This novel made me laugh, tear up, and get attached, and I'll certainly read another book if one ever comes out, but the fact that it meanders a lot for little to know reward makes it just an okay / good book to me. Probably wi The first Overwatch book and it was enjoyable for the most part... just don't expect anything major to happen. Basically this is a story about how Efi and her friends had a heck of a time making the Orisa we know today, and how Doomfist's chaos is the reason for progress. This novel made me laugh, tear up, and get attached, and I'll certainly read another book if one ever comes out, but the fact that it meanders a lot for little to know reward makes it just an okay / good book to me. Probably will never come back to this book again, but it certainly gave me a lot of interesting ideas. Overall, it's an easy fun read for fans of the Overwatch setting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    CapesandCovers

    This book was an absolute delight to read, and a wonderful addition to the Overwatch lore. The Hero of Numbani is a middle grade novel following Efi, a twelve-year-old creative genius, who decides to use her love of robotics to try to save her beloved city. I found out about this book pretty recently, and am SO happy that I managed to snag an ARC of it for review. I'm not usually a huge fan of middle grade novels, and I'm glad to say this was an exception. Not only did it hold up to what I had ho This book was an absolute delight to read, and a wonderful addition to the Overwatch lore. The Hero of Numbani is a middle grade novel following Efi, a twelve-year-old creative genius, who decides to use her love of robotics to try to save her beloved city. I found out about this book pretty recently, and am SO happy that I managed to snag an ARC of it for review. I'm not usually a huge fan of middle grade novels, and I'm glad to say this was an exception. Not only did it hold up to what I had hoped for, but it easily surpassed my expectations. Orisa is one of my mains, and to finally see her and Efi get the more complete backstory they deserved was delightful. Drayden did an excellent job of incorporating the in game lore from the maps and character lines, along with the additional digital lore, to create a story that blends seamlessly with the current canon. She brought Numbani to life, drawing the reader into a vibrant and hopeful part of the Overwatch world. She also had another Overwatch character (besides Doomfist) make an awesome appearance in it, which was a fun surprise for fans. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a good middle grade novel, especially if they're into video games or a superhero fan. Old fans of Overwatch will love this book and the new lore that comes with it, and new fans will love it enough to try to pick up the game. 

  7. 5 out of 5

    Niki Panagiotidou

    Such an a-MEI-zing story, true to its universe and Blizzard's beautiful storytelling techniques. The beginning was simple and heartwarming, the middle kept me constantly willing to find out what will happen next and the ending left me with the uplifting effect of feeling like a hero. I loved Efi's character, I could see my ambitions in her coding and robot-making abilities, but also in all her hopes for the betterment of her community and her fears of not belonging and of failure. I was happy wh Such an a-MEI-zing story, true to its universe and Blizzard's beautiful storytelling techniques. The beginning was simple and heartwarming, the middle kept me constantly willing to find out what will happen next and the ending left me with the uplifting effect of feeling like a hero. I loved Efi's character, I could see my ambitions in her coding and robot-making abilities, but also in all her hopes for the betterment of her community and her fears of not belonging and of failure. I was happy when she was happy, sad when she was sad, and was fangirling hard when she (SPOILER-but minor)... (view spoiler)[ ...met Lucio, her favourite music artist in the flesh!! (hide spoiler)] I enjoyed all the mentions to the in-game voice-lines and also their fighting abilities which were acurate to the game. The small metions of Torbjorn and (presumably, in my opinion) Sombra (still not sure it was her though, perhaps she wasn't bcz it it was her, her code wouldn't be as easy for a 12-year-old genius to break it, however smart she is, Sombra is the ultimate internet hacker) entertained me, as also the newly added characters that had a connection to Efi and were anti-heros (spoiler without context). Overall, this book taught me a few things about Nigeria's culture, like the naira, their money unit (1 naira= 0.0023 euro and 0.0026$ , yes, I looked it up), some of the daily outfits and the mouth-watering foods and desserts, for which I want to find good recipes and test them as soon as possible. I'm from Greece, so I knew little things about the culture of west Africa. Some food I learned from this book are: Fufu. Amala. Fried plantain. Egusi stew. Akaraje. I also like to highlight that Overwatch (and Blizzard) know what they're doing, since they confided the author AND coder Nicky Drayden to write this fantastic Orisa book. I want to talk about many references in the book to the game, but for now, I will let you enjoy this book's magic on your own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    LadyKnight33

    Cute easy summer read. Not at all challenging, target audience is younger. The impression of the story is unorganized and limited in detail. Much of the setting and characterizations are reliant on knowing the in-game dialogue and maps rather than spending the time translating it for the new comer of the story. Not a good introduction to the world of Overwatch, but a cute story of the young heroine Efi and her creation/best friend Orisa. Some of the best descriptions are of the African dress. It Cute easy summer read. Not at all challenging, target audience is younger. The impression of the story is unorganized and limited in detail. Much of the setting and characterizations are reliant on knowing the in-game dialogue and maps rather than spending the time translating it for the new comer of the story. Not a good introduction to the world of Overwatch, but a cute story of the young heroine Efi and her creation/best friend Orisa. Some of the best descriptions are of the African dress. It is filled with repetitive plug ins from the game and cookbook as a way to make it recognizable. There is nothing challenging about the story or the characters. All the growth is focused on Efi and Orisa with nothing left for the supporting cast. They felt more like a list of names for Efi to talk to in a very on-the-nose sort of way. Purely a way to force her growth as a character. The highlighted appearances of Doomfist and Lucio also felt stilted and flat. A necessity for the climax rather than deeply incorporated into the story. The action sequences themselves did not engage me as a reader. Since Efi was on the sideline watching, she didn't feel invested or even truly endangered during these scenes. They felt rushed and too easily resolved. The whole story had the feeling of a childhood cartoon or a work of fan-fiction. (I love both) As adorable as Efi and Orisa are in this story it did not feel on the same cinematic level of the Overwatch animated shorts or their comics or even some of their character releases. I couldn't feel invested in Efi's character. She didn't feel relatable. This might be because I'm not the target audience and have gone on to more epic works of fantasy. The story is cute. The writing is not complex. It's a perfect summer read, but not a literary masterpiece. Would have finished it in a few hours if I wasn't reading it on my down time at work. I would like to look at her personal work because I know writing in someone else's world isn't as easy as creating your own. The prose of Overwatch lore has been disappointing in its complexity as compared to the comics and cinematic shorts. This includes the short stories for Ana, Baptiste, and Mercy. And now Efi and Orisa. My hopes and expectations might have been too high. I'll still read the Overwatch stories because I have hope for this world and the wonderful characters within. Efi and Orisa are the future of Overwatch.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Owens

    This is a delightful read about a girl and the decommissioned and damaged police robot she's determined to turn into a hero for her city. The story is set in a fictional, futuristic city in Nigeria in the world of the Overwatch video game. Initially, Efi just wants to makes robots that help people with chores or small normal tasks. But after witnessing a terrorist attack extremely close up, she decides to build an AI protector that will keep people physically safe from super-villain level danger This is a delightful read about a girl and the decommissioned and damaged police robot she's determined to turn into a hero for her city. The story is set in a fictional, futuristic city in Nigeria in the world of the Overwatch video game. Initially, Efi just wants to makes robots that help people with chores or small normal tasks. But after witnessing a terrorist attack extremely close up, she decides to build an AI protector that will keep people physically safe from super-villain level danger. I really enjoyed the cultural richness that Drayden added to the city and the people of Numbani. The MC is a genius 11 year old that even while she's trying to train her robot to protect the citizens of her city, still has to be home in time for Sunday dinner. Her two friends are realistic but still gifted teenagers. Despite the focus on a pre-teen girl in a made up world, Draydon manages to weave in nuanced critiques of modern police practices, corporate greed, as well as thoughtful reflections of potential repercussions of living through violent and traumatic events.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a delightful read about a girl and the decommissioned and damaged police robot she's determined to turn into a hero for her city. The story is set in a fictional, futuristic city in Nigeria in the world of the Overwatch video game. Initially, Efi just wants to makes robots that help people with chores or small normal tasks. But after witnessing a terrorist attack extremely close up, she decides to build an AI protector that will keep people physically safe from super-villain level danger This is a delightful read about a girl and the decommissioned and damaged police robot she's determined to turn into a hero for her city. The story is set in a fictional, futuristic city in Nigeria in the world of the Overwatch video game. Initially, Efi just wants to makes robots that help people with chores or small normal tasks. But after witnessing a terrorist attack extremely close up, she decides to build an AI protector that will keep people physically safe from super-villain level danger. I really enjoyed the cultural richness that Drayden added to the city and the people of Numbani. The MC is a genius 11 year old that even while she's trying to train her robot to protect the citizens of her city, still has to be home in time for Sunday dinner. Her two friends are realistic but still gifted teenagers. Despite the focus on a pre-teen girl in a made up world, Draydon manages to weave in nuanced critiques of modern police practices, corporate greed, as well as thoughtful reflections of potential repercussions of living through violent and traumatic events.

  11. 5 out of 5

    emma

    I've been playing Overwatch since it's release and it's amazing to continue to watch the characters grow and have their backstories revealed. You can tell there was a lot of love put into designing Orisa as a character and connecting her to the culture she came from. I'm excited to see what character is given the spotlight next as this series of books continues. I was pleased to see this story was from the perspective of Efi (Orisa's creator). Before Orisa was released many people thought that E I've been playing Overwatch since it's release and it's amazing to continue to watch the characters grow and have their backstories revealed. You can tell there was a lot of love put into designing Orisa as a character and connecting her to the culture she came from. I'm excited to see what character is given the spotlight next as this series of books continues. I was pleased to see this story was from the perspective of Efi (Orisa's creator). Before Orisa was released many people thought that Efi was actually going to be the next Overwatch hero. I wasn't disappointed when it turned out to be Orisa but I always wanted to hear more about Efi's life and in this book I got that. Overall, this was a enjoyable story to read that shined light on parts of the Overwatch lore that haven't been covered yet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lezlie with The Nerdy Narrative

    The Hero of Numbani is the first novel in the Overwatch series. It's a YA story that explores the origin story of Orisa, one of the heroes you can play in the popular Overwatch video game created by Blizzard Entertainment. It's YA, but written so that is it enjoyable as an adult as well. Nicky Drayden was the perfect tap to author this story. Her software analyst background lent her the ability to spin the best angle for 11 year old robotacist Efi to repurpose an OR15 in order to be a proper defe The Hero of Numbani is the first novel in the Overwatch series. It's a YA story that explores the origin story of Orisa, one of the heroes you can play in the popular Overwatch video game created by Blizzard Entertainment. It's YA, but written so that is it enjoyable as an adult as well. Nicky Drayden was the perfect tap to author this story. Her software analyst background lent her the ability to spin the best angle for 11 year old robotacist Efi to repurpose an OR15 in order to be a proper defense against Doomfist as well as protector of Numbani. I absolutely loved this book as well as the writing style of Nicky. I can't wait to explore her other works.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    It’s cute. I wasn’t expecting all that much out of it, but that’s quite okay - it’s a kids’ novel, after all. I enjoyed that the game’s playable characters’ voice lines appeared in print, and I was glad that the book was written by a woman of color who could capture the culture of Efi and Orisa in a way that random-white-dude wouldn’t. I look forward to future entries in the series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Calinda

    I am a fanatical Overwatch fan and was predisposed to really enjoy this book, but it did not live up to expectations. It was not awful, but it was not outstanding either. Please see my full review here: http://www.compassbookratings.com/rev... This is a review of an advance reader copy. I am a fanatical Overwatch fan and was predisposed to really enjoy this book, but it did not live up to expectations. It was not awful, but it was not outstanding either. Please see my full review here: http://www.compassbookratings.com/rev... This is a review of an advance reader copy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    N9erz

    Für Overwatch-Fans ein Must-Have auch wenn es keine "neue" Geschichte erzählt für all jene, die sich die Charakter Trailer angesehen haben. Trotzdem eine schöne Geschichte hinter die Kulissen von Efi und Orisa, ein Werdegang zwischen Mut, Freundschaft und Hoffnung. Perfektes Jugendbuch, das aber auch für interessierte Fans einfach einen schönen Einblick in die Charaktere rund um Orisa gibt.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Cochie

    Could Not Finish. Writing was not nearly as good as Overwatch Lore should be. Know your audience before creating novels. No connection to fan base or areas seen in game. Not happy due to being a giant overwatch fan.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lyle Raymond

    It’s clear that this is aimed at young readers. The game references are at times cringeworthy, but that’s kind of the point of a video game novelization, isn’t it? As a fan of the game, it’s nice to be further immersed in the world.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrei

    A fun story which builds the lore for the beloved game, has a strong empowered female character, and explores various themes of unity, compassion, and friendship. A great book for young readers, though it can be a little thrilling.

  19. 4 out of 5

    dia

    i want!!! more ow novels!!! pls... this was so much fun... i already loved orisa and efi so much and now somehow i love them even more!!!! also lucio flying somewhere new and taking pão de queijo with him anyway? truly brazilian 10/10 lmao i'd do that too

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    A great addition to Overwatch lore. A well written and interesting book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Helena

    I LOVED this book. The details involving the Overwatch storyline, as well as providing Orisa with such a great unique personality! Highly recommend, all the characters were amazing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jaelithe

    Was just notified I won a drawing for this book from the BookConline last week. Very excited to get my copy so I can read and review. Thanks to BookConline and the publisher for the opportunity!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    Cease your resistance! This is the story of how Efi built Orisa, and how they became heroes despite Doomfist’s best efforts. Lúcio lends a hand, too. This is an entertaining book, but it won’t make much sense to you if you are not already an Overwatch fan and player.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    I'm a massive overwatch fan so I'm biased. I loved the lore and world building I hope this is the start of many more Overwatch books.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Arnaud

    This book is perfect for overwatch players who love the Lore but also for beginners. It's funny and really fast paced so even people who are not used to read should be able to enjoy this!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Von

    I am a big fan of the overwatch game! The animation is gorgeous and I am amazed at the cinematic videos every time I watch them. It would be fantastic if they made books on all of the characters!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Baron Cantrell

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stef (Noveltea Corner)

  29. 4 out of 5

    LIANG-BIH LIN

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

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