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Young adult Overwatch novel will focus on tinkerer Efi Oladele

Overwatch is adding a young adult novel to its wide range of extra-curricular lore. The Hero Of Numbani will follow child prodigy Efi Oladele as she engineers the tank hero Orisa to protect her city from attack, and it’s scheduled to release next year.

Speaking to Polygon, Blizzard confirmed that an Amazon listing that went up earlier this week is correct. The novel is described as following along closely with the lore we already know about Doomfist’s attack on Numbani, and Efi’s tinkering with security robots to make the adorable Orisa.

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 mould Orisa into the hero of Numbani before it’s too late?

The story is apparently a collaboration between the Overwatch developers and author Nicky Drayden, whose Afrofuturist novels certainly seem a good fit for tackling the lore around Numbani in a more in-depth way than game snippets, animated shorts, and comics have allowed.

It also feels promising to have Drayden on board considering Blizzard’s track record on race and gender. It’ll be great to dig into Efi’s story, and since they were never going to let a young girl go out onto the game’s battlefields, this is a great way to see more of her. But that doesn’t erase the fact that Overwatch still doesn’t have a playable black woman or the weird jumble of stereotypes that make up Doomfist.

I am looking forward to more Lúcio lore, however, as he’s in town for a concert at the time of the attack and the musician-slash-freedom-fighter has been criminally underused since Overwatch’s release. Plus, we already know he’s great with kids.

Amazon says The Hero Of Numbani will be released on May 5th, 2020.

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Jay Castello

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Jay writes about video games, falls down endless internet rabbit holes, and takes a lot of pictures of flowers.

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