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Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, Book Two) Paperback – April 1, 1997


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Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, Book Two) + Imago (Xenogenesis Series) + Dawn (Xenogenesis, Bk. 1)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Aspect Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446603783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446603782
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this sequel to Dawn, Lilith Iyapo has given birth to what looks like a normal human boy named Akin. But Akin actually has five parents: a male and female human, a male and female Oankali, and a sexless Ooloi. The Oankali and Ooloi are part of an alien race that rescued humanity from a devastating nuclear war, but the price they exact is a high one--the aliens are compelled to genetically merge their species with other races, drastically altering both in the process. On a rehabilitated Earth, this "new" race is emerging through human/Oankali/Ooloi mating, but there are also "pure" humans who choose to resist the aliens and the salvation they offer. These resisters are sterilized by the Ooloi so that they cannot reproduce the genetic defect that drives humanity to destroy itself, but otherwise they are left alone (unless they become violent). When the resisters kidnap young Akin, the Oankali choose to leave the child with his captors, for he--the most "human" of the Oankali children--will decide whether the resisters should be given back their fertility and freedom, even though they will only destroy themselves again. This is the second volume in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series, a powerful tale of alien existence.

About the Author

Octavia E. Butler was the first black woman to come to international prominence as a science fiction writer. Incorporating powerful, spare language and rich, well-developed characters, her work tackled race, gender, religion, poverty, power, politics, and science in a way that touched readers of all backgrounds. Butler was a towering figure in life and in her art and the world noticed; highly acclaimed by reviewers, she received numerous awards, including a MacArthur "genius" grant, both the Hugo and Nebula awards, the Langston Hughes Medal, as well as a PEN Lifetime Achievement award.

More About the Author

Octavia Estelle Butler, often referred to as the "grand dame of science fiction," was born in Pasadena, California on June 22, 1947. She received an Associate of Arts degree in 1968 from Pasadena Community College, and also attended California State University in Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles. During 1969 and 1970, she studied at the Screenwriter's Guild Open Door Program and the Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop, where she took a class with science fiction master Harlan Ellison (who later became her mentor), and which led to Butler selling her first science fiction stories.

Butler's first story, "Crossover," was published in the 1971 Clarion anthology. Patternmaster, her first novel and the first title of her five-volume Patternist series, was published in 1976, followed by Mind of My Mind in 1977. Others in the series include Survivor (1978), Wild Seed (1980), which won the James Tiptree Award, and Clay's Ark (1984).

With the publication of Kindred in 1979, Butler was able to support herself writing full time. She won the Hugo Award in 1984 for her short story, "Speech Sounds," and in 1985, Butler's novelette "Bloodchild" won a Hugo Award, a Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and an award for best novelette from Science Fiction Chronicle.

Other books by Octavia E. Butler include the Xenogenesis trilogy: Dawn (1987), Adulthood Rites (1988) and Imago (1989), and a short story collection, Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995). Parable of the Sower (1993), the first of her Earthseed series, was a finalist for the Nebula Award as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The book's sequel, Parable of the Talents (1998), won a Nebula Award.

In 1995 Butler was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship.

AWARDS

1980, Creative Arts Award, L.A. YWCA
1984, Hugo Award for Best Short Story - Speech Sounds
1984, Nebula Award for Best Novelette - Bloodchild
1985, Science Fiction Chronicle Award for Best Novelette - Bloodchild
1985, Locus Award for Best Novelette - Bloodchild
1985, Hugo Award for Best Novelette - Bloodchild
1995, MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant
1999, Nebula Award for Best Novel - Parable of the Talents
2000, PEN American Center lifetime achievement award in writing
2010, Inductee Science Fiction Hall of Fame
2012, Solstice Award, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

Customer Reviews

Love Octavia Butler's trilogy.
Jsquared
Her world-building and character development is phenomenal and she writes in a completely believable and authentic style.
Emily
Every book of her's I have read is wonderfully riveting and I have read most of them.
Connie Sciutto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Nunnally Jr. on December 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This science fiction work follows up on Ms. Butler's earlier work, Dawn. The book stands alone fairly well, but the story will seem tremendously better placed into context if the reader has read the earlier book, Dawn. Ms. Butler creates yet another of her dystopian earths, but its final crisis is ameliorated by the intervention of an alien species, the oankali. The book tells a crackling good story, but also addresses a key theme--what does it mean to be human? I recommend this book, as it has the old-fashioned virtues of a golden age work, but is told in the fine, well-written style that characterizes Octavia Butler's work. Reading a Butler, one gets the impression that one is watching a grandmaster writing in her prime--and yet, the nice thing about reading her is the sense that the best is yet to come. If you have not read Butler, but you are afraid that sci fi has lost its zing, then read Dawn and this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on April 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is far better than the first in the series. I was completely sucked into the characters, concept, and plot. The device of the alien child - a hybrid that is different from humans in obvious but also extremely subtle ways - is a unique creation in sci fi. His journey is fascinating and cruel, which makes a dark philospical statement on human nature. The dialogue is as excellent as you would expect from any fine novelist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joe Sherry on February 12, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Now I know why the three volume Xenogenesis series was collected in a single volume titled Lilith's Brood. Adulthood Rites is the second entry of three in Xenogenesis and the focus has shifted from Lilith Iyapo to her part human / part Oankali son, Akin. In Dawn we were introduced to an Earth that had all but been destroyed by humanity before the remnants of humanity were rescued by the alien race Oankali. The Oankali survive and adapt by finding new species and civilizations to "Trade" with. In the rescue of humanity, the Oankali will Trade with humans and help humanity repopulate the newly restored Earth. But at a cost. Humanity will no longer be what it once was because a Trade involves both parties giving up something and receiving something in return. Humanity will get another step on the evolutionary scale but will be far more and less than what they once were. Lilith Iyapo was chosen by the Oankali to seed the first colony and awake the remnant from their slumber and teach them to accept the Oankali. In many ways she failed with that first group she was given, but by the end of Dawn Lilith was to found her first community while those who would not accept what had occurred were isolated and left sterile. Breeding could only happen with the permission of the Oankali. At the very end Dawn we learn that Lilith was pregnant.

When Adulthood Rites opens, the story is focused on Akin, one of Lilith's hybrid children and her first son. Because he is part Oankali, Akin is aware in the womb and if he were fully human one would consider him unnaturally precocious. As it stands he is not fully human, though as an infant he looks human enough (except for his tongue). The focus of Adulthood Rites remains squarely on Akin with brief flashes of events surrounding Lilith, but only to a point.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By themarsman on June 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
Akin (Ah-keen) is a human-born construct...a mixture of both Human and Oankali genetic material. He, and others like him, are the first steps toward what the Oankali have promised, toward what the Oankali have exacted after they saved the remains of Humanity from the utter obliteration of nuclear holocaust: the melding of both sentient species.

Akin has a long road ahead of him. He must not only come to grips with who he is, he must also, somehow, determine how to coexist with the multiple factions of both Humanity as well as Oankali.

Adulthood Rites is another well written tale by Butler. However, where the previous novel, Dawn, gripped you and did not let go, this novel merely loosely hangs on. I kept wanting more about Lilith (who was the primary character in Dawn) and her connection to Akin, who is, after all, her son and the future of what both Humanity and Oankali will be. However, the tale does provide a well-drawn narrative of Akin's exploits, and how he relates and interrelates with not only his Human brethren, but his Oankali people as well.

Overall, while Adulthood Rites does not quite stand up to its predecessor in sheer magnitude of story, it is ultimately a well-written novel and I look forward to closing out the Human/Oankali saga sometime soon.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Humans had finally destroyed themselves and the planet Earth. This book continues the story of the few human survivors who had been captured by a revolting looking but talented alien race and forced to breed with them in order to perpetuate the genes of the human species within a new hybrid race. Most of the book revolves around two ideas, the innate human tendency toward violence and the unwillingness of people to accept others who are different. Those in the book who resist the breeding situation and run away to create their own childless communities are portrayed as an endlessly cranky group, a microcosm of the race who destroyed their own Earth. Every time you read an episode about them they're committing violent acts. They have an especially difficult time in accepting members of the next generation, the hybrids who are only part human. The dilemma posed in the book is that the only way to save the species is to accept and trust the non-human as well as the human.
I found the main character, a hybrid child, really interesting, and the book as a whole intellectually stimulating and full of challenge and ideas.
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