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Lilith's Brood Paperback – June 1, 2000
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"SHOWS THE AUTHOR AT THE HEIGHT OF HER IMAGINATIVE AND WRITING POWERS". -- Essence
From the Back Cover
The acclaimed trilogy that comprises LILITH'S BROOD is multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winner Octavia E. Butler at her best. Presented for the first time in one volume, with an introduction by Joan Slonczewski, Ph.D., LILITH'S BROOD is a profoundly evocative, sensual -- and disturbing -- epic of human transformation.
Lilith Iyapo is in the Andes, mourning the death of her family, when war destroys Earth. Centuries later, she is resurrected -- by miraculously powerful unearthly beings, the Oankali. Driven by an irresistible need to heal others, the Oankali are rescuing our dying planet by merging genetically with mankind. But Lilith and all humanity must now share the world with uncanny, unimaginably alien creatures: their own children. This is their story...
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Typically when I read, it is at night when I am unwinding for bed, and if I am late, I skip it. I cannot skip a night with this book. Even if it is after midnight, I have to read at least one chapter.
The concepts presented are very interesting, and I find myself wanting to read a prequel to find out more history of the Oonkali, but I don't know how that would be presented without a human perspective.
The way the story starts draws you in, and the method that the Oonkali use to guide humans is very creative. Humans are allowed to choose, but at the same time with their guidance, the aliens are pretty confident in what those choices will be.
If you enjoy science fiction about an interaction of groups, this is a book for you. If you like rocketeers blasting each other's space ships into oblivion, then maybe you should look elsewhere.
The alien race is likewise complex, seductive, both perfect and flawed. You love them and what to be them even as you hate what they are doing.
Love the whole series!
I will be looking at her other works.
After reading Dawn you might be a bit unsettled that Adulthood Rites deals more with one of Lilith's children, and a possible resolution to the “human” problem. Again Octavia works her magic and brings your soul into the story, compelled to favor the protagonist even though you know from Dawn you shouldn't. Then it isn't so difficult to take up Imago, another book about one of Lilith's children that has you engrossed in and anxious for these unique and strange, even to the aliens, children and their need for mates, the very thing you cringed about in Dawn.
I read this series over 3 decades ago and the story never left me, nor could I recall it without a twinge of revulsion and a prayer for humanity.