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Dawn (Xenogenesis, Bk. 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1997
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In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation while the aliens begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet. When Lilith Iyapo is "awakened," she finds that she has been chosen to revive her fellow humans in small groups by first preparing them to meet the utterly terrifying aliens, then training them to survive on the wilderness that the planet has become. But the aliens cannot help humanity without altering it forever. Bonded to the aliens in ways no human has ever known, Lilith tries to fight them even as her own species comes to fear and loathe her. A stunning story of invasion and alien contact by one of science fiction's finest writers.
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.
Top customer reviews
The Oankali arrive at Earth shortly after a devastating war that will destroy all life on the planet. They rescue the remaining life forms with the intention of re-seeding the planet after clearing it from contamination.
The story follows one of the survivors who is unwilling to accept the cost imposed by the aliens. Her story is fascinating and the decisions made by her and the other survivors are very believable.
I know this review sounds vague, but I think revealing bits of the story ahead of time would diminish the experience. You should learn what comes next as Butler reveals it.
Some have said Butler's writing is brilliant. I must agree, but at the same time, I have not decided if I will continue with the trilogy. Dawn has neatly wrapped up this part of Lilith's story, so I am not compelled to read the next book to have an ending. And, I think I'll look for something less dark for my next novel.
Should you read this novel? Read the sample chapters. If you are curious about what happens next, then by all means buy or borrow the book to continue. And don't give up after the first several chapters. The interest level of the story increases as you continue.
I was surprised that this book surprised me. I read so much, that I can usually tell within the first chapter where the plot will go. Not so with this gem of a book! I was horrified then delighted by the situation the main character finds herself in. And delighted that there would be no lengthy explanations of Faster-Than-Light Technology that seems obligatory to every SF book, no space faring military, no fight to the death battle scenes in the vacuum of space.
I empathized with the protagonist: would I ever get jiggy with a sea urchin/cockroach? Even if it meant that I would become some weird hybrid space-aged Eve? Or would I let the human species die off? As I sit here in my office, I say, "Yeah, let the species die. They were nearly extinct when the aliens found them anyway." Arm chair Eugenics aside, I really loved this book. Instead of paying $20 for the last two books, I'll buy the omnibus edition and save some cash.