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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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Top Customer Reviews
As many other reviewers have said, this book asks some difficult questions and leaves it to the reader to provide the answers. How is consent affected by a being who really CAN read a human's physical signals like they're reading a book? Why is appearance so important to humans that we will react with terror to something that is "other," or be willing to mutilate healthy children to make appearance more conventional? At what point do we cease being human at all?
The science fiction (at the time the book was written) largely involves genetic manipulation. When the first baby with three biological parents was born this year, my first thought was "Wow! Just like the Oankali (without the awesome ooloi sex). Octavia Butler, as always, seems so prescient.
This book gets my highest recommendation.
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.
Written by the acclaimed Science Fiction author - and my very favorite one - Lilith's Brood was a treat! Octavia Butler has a beautiful writing style. Her prose is so brilliant and subtle that you don't realize that she's giving very important details to both the characters and the scenery as you go along. The book, Lilith's Brood, is actually a trilogy of novels: "Dawn," "Adulthood Rites," and "Imago." The story begins with Lilith, a new Eve in a way, the mother of "new" humankind. The twist is that aliens have saved the world from total destruction and from extinction since war has all but killed our species. Too, the destruction has left all man infertile. The only way that he can procreate is by mating with fertile aliens who produce half-human, half-alien super humans.
Themes were important but very slight. In other words, Octavia didn't push her own views on people too much, although there were very clear ideals supported, like bisexuality, loyalty, and self-sacrifice. Often as I read the series, I asked myself if I would be willing to give up some measure of my own humanity to live longer, have healthier children, or a stronger, more durable physique. Some of her ideals were quite repulsive, however. I have read several of Butler's novels and have found that a common theme is incest. For example, in the last novel of Lilith's Brood, "Imago," there were people who were special (not too much of a spoiler here :)), and they were all related but having sex with their brother, their mother, their father, in order to have children. This theme is quite sickening and almost made me stop reading the book altogether when I first read of it. I recall too that the author tried to make her reader less repulsed by the idea by stating that in Biblical times families practiced incest. In every novel that I've read of Octavia's, and even in every short story anthology, she always mentions incest in an `acceptable' way or at least in a way that she tries to paint as acceptable. That is beginning to be more and more of a turnoff for me when it comes to reading her books.
Other than that, it was an amazing read and I am now on the second group of novels by Octavia Butler called Seed to Harvest. When I complete this one, I'll be writing a review about it too. Good reading everyone!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dawn is the first book of the Xenogenesis series and...Read more
Butler had quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her work definitely broadens my mind and way of thinking.