I was conflicted about Binti. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a fan of short fiction (But wait - am I currently reading The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapowski which is just a collection of short stories? Yes, yes I am. BUT the difference between the first Witcher book and Binti is that the stories in The Last Wish do not truly stand alone - they fit in a larger universe which does have full length novels in them. Ok, so it doesn't make sense...).
BUT, as short fiction goes, I kind of enjoyed Binti. I LOVED that the Himba people are represented through Binti and the cover image is just absolutely gorgeous. The story itself was pretty interesting and there were a few parts that truly took me by surprise. That said, I didn't really feel like it fit well into the science fiction realm -- as far as science fiction goes I actually thought it was kind of weak. I wanted more science...more explanation. I understand with short fiction one only has a small window in which to do the world building...but when I think of "science fiction" I think of something a bit more explanatory as far as the science and world building goes.
What knocked this down from a four-star read to a three-star read was one major point -- the lack of consequences. I don't want to post any spoilers, but the short of it is (and stop reading here if you don't want any spoilers) that the Meduse commit an atrocity on board Binti's ship and they suffer literally zero consequences for that atrocity. The people on the receiving planet see what the Meduse have done and nothing is said about it. The level of the atrocity committed would have (should have) warranted some kind of consequence but...nope.
An enjoyable read...but I am not sure if I'll continue on with the short stories which follow it.