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Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 260 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 1 of 3 in The Xenogenesis Trilogy (3 Book Series)
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Top Customer Reviews
It's several hundred years in the future. Human civilization has been all but destroyed through vaguely described but clearly self-inflicted wounds. Aliens have arrived with the goal of restoring human civilization as part of their drive to trade genetic and other information with other species. They've snatched a bunch of humans and effectively put them in storage until they can figure out what to do with them. Our main character, Lilith, is one of the first to be awakened as the aliens start to put their scheme into place. She must deal with the (initially terrifying) aliens at first, then, as she's selected as one of the leaders of the restoration, deal with her fellow revived humans as they are awakened as part of what's to be the first colony on the restored earth.
Though the initial conceit is remarkable, Butler focuses on Lilith's reactions to her situation, giving the story a remarkably personal, down-to-home feel despite the extraordinary occurrences. And there are no simple solutions. The aliens are doing good in restoring humanity but also have their own agenda, involving significant genetic manipulations of the restored humans. Lilith has misgivings about this which she much try to conceal while she awaits an opportunity to escape from their control. She must also deal with the similar concerns of her fellow humans without giving too much away.
All that being said, despite my admiration I somehow didn't find the book as gripping a read as one might think from the description. I'm definitely interested in reading the rest of the books in the series, but without the sort of urgency a devoted reader comes to expect when he or she makes a new "find." Still, I am impressed by the book and perhaps the series will grow on me.
Ms Butler was dyslexic, above average in height, African American, and a genius. She lived as a hermit in the middle of a major city and created a body of work which stands with the very best. She won both Hugo and Nebula Awards several times and the MacArthur Foundation `Genius' Award in 1995. I think she is one of the few SciFi writers to have received this recognition.
I am posting this review on each of the Xenogenesis Trilogy (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago) sites as well as the volume where they are collected; `Lilith's Brood.' All are excellent and recommended.
In this series Ms Butler took on sexuality and the nature of `humanity' in a startling new way. She gradually takes the reader from the perspective of a `human,' specifically an Earthling who encounters an alien race to the perspective of the `alien,' specifically the descendent of interbreeding between humans and aliens who is now the `human' and sees Earthlings as the aliens.
Ms Butler skills are so great that this change in perspective goes so slowly that the reader is largely unaware until it has been accomplished. While some will dither about which of Ms Butler's novels are her `greatest,' few will argue that this series is superb. I have read nearly all of Ms Butler's works and enjoyed them all. I think she was one of the finest writers of speculative fiction in recent history and will miss her work.
However, _Dawn_ was nothing like what I had feared. Its story does not seem aimed particularly at any target audience, instead being simply enjoyable science fiction. There is no preaching in this book--only an engaging plot which draws the reader into its folds, the better to sink tendrils into the mind and make one wonder 'What if...?' I don't know whether I *like* the ideas that Butler presents. They disturbed me. Yet I also found myself intrigued; there is plenty of food for thought in Lilith's relationship to the Oankali and in the Oankali's view of humanity.
It's a shame that the general portrayal of humanity is tainted enough to cost the book a star. True, the thought-provoking nature of the novel is in part due to the subtle questions it raises about conformity and the truth of the saying about what to do 'when rape is inevitable'--but with the exception of Lilith, we are given no human protagonists with whom we can strongly identify, through whose eyes we can really explore these issues. The males in particularly are portrayed poorly; for the most part violent, boorish, and sex-obsessed, they aren't what I would call the best representatives of our population. Nor are the woman any better; most of them are either followers or conformists, allowing themselves to be drugged and subjected to sexual activities that they would not consent to of their free will.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This story just grabs me in and won't let go. It's a fascinating tale of aliens that find earth after a global war that destroys most human lives.
This is a great book. Fast pace, well developed characters, holds your interest till the very end. But, alas, I will not read any more of this series because the first book is... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best Sci-fi books I have ever read. One of those 'I wish I could have written this ' feelings. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Jason Santos
Are we alone out there? This is a story that tells of what might be if there are aliens and they decide that earth is theirs to do with as they wish. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Nomad Mama
Good writing but not a good enough story to read the rest of the trilogyPublished 26 days ago by rhb
It's a book that looks into group psychology and reaction to change. It was not formulaic and I enjoyed it quite a bit.Published 27 days ago by Chris
Butler is one of the pillars of science fiction and this is a great example of her work.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Brilliant start to the trilogy. Lillith, Noah, slave, master, middle passage, Adam, Eve, border figure, mother, agent, assimililator rebel, queen.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
This is just as brilliant as the first time I read it! It may sound trite, but this really is a must read for any science fiction aficionado.Published 1 month ago by eric