Customer Reviews: Mind of My Mind
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on April 17, 2006
This is my favorite Octavia Butler book. My first introduction to Ms. Butler's work was a couple years ago when my book club chose, Kindred, as a selection. I love Kindred, but I do believe I like Mind of my Mind more.

Mind of My Mind is so representative of everything Octavia Butler. It's a powerhouse of a book packed into a couple hundred pages. The writing is brilliant, it's wildly imaginative and a truly enjoyable read. I couldn't put it down.

The maniacal Dora in this desire to create greatness has mated individuals with supernatural traits or powers. At last creating Mary a telepath with the ability to draw other telepath to her, creating a pattern. With Mary, Doro has gotten more than he bargained for. He may have created a force more powerful than himself.
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on June 26, 2015
After being assigned Wild Seed for a class, I decided to continue with the series to see what happened.

This story takes place over 200 years later and follows one of the descendants of Anyawu, named Mary, who has the ability to gather telepaths into a larger pattern and organize them into a grand society unlike never before. Despite this being Doro's wish, he finds that Mary is power hungry and he tries to control her which ends in a battle between two greater forces.


While I was riveted in the beginning, I felt that the story slowed down with the politics of the increasing pattern size. I didn't really care too much about the logistics of setting up schools, or training new people. I understood why this was important information for the story, it just felt kind of slow. Also, in comparison to Wild Seed where every character felt complicated and nuanced, I felt that most of the characters in Mind of My Mind felt flat and underdeveloped due to the emphasis on Mary's development.

I think that with this book Butler showed the eventual triumph of women over men's control, showing that it's possible to be a strong emergent woman who has a family unit without being constrained by the influence of a man, as opposed to the ending of Wild Seed which suggested otherwise. Anyawu's decision to die at the end of the book represented to me the shift of women and the birth of a new kind of femininity.

Interesting read, and I am going to continue with the series. I'm interested to see where it goes.
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on January 17, 2016
Just like Wild Seed (book #1 in the Patternmaster series) this is a compelling read that is very hard to put down. Butler's prose and story hooked me from the first page and kept me hooked until the grand finale. It is not, however, a comfortable or comforting read. This is a story that tweaks and scratches and rips into you with questions about slavery, dependence, love, loyalty, the value of human emotions and human life. The main antagonists: Mary and Doro are both powerful but also frightening entities, capable of great evil and selfishness, as well as acts of mercy (if not kindness). And their actions affect not only themselves, but the people and the society around them.

Butler packs a lot of thoughts and questions about society and human existence into a book that, on the surface, deals with what our world might be like if there were humans who could control and read other people's emotions, thoughts, and memories.

A fantastic read, from one of science fiction's best authors.
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VINE VOICEon July 31, 2015
7/21/15 I’ve read this three times I think. Doro is a monster, and I prefer Wild Seed, because it has Anyanwu/ Emma – who has a conscience-- to offset Doro. This has Emma only incidentally. It introduces another monster Doro has created: Mary. Both Doro and Mary have a similar dream: to have group of telepaths who can live together. Doro’s dream is seven telepaths. Mary links 1,500 adults and 800 children into a Pattern of telepaths.

I read this on Kindle, because I either don’t have or couldn’t find my copy of the book. I have just bought a t- shirt with the 1977 cover from Out of Print.
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on June 24, 2016
Thirty-seven years after reading "Kindred," which ignited my interest in science fiction, I've read two of the three Patternist books. What I particularly love is the suggestion of a deep power and sensitivity African Americans have inherently within them. The alternate reality Butler offers piques the curiosity too of the power within all of us. I have always believed humans are subjected to the limitations of society but these books effectively illustrate it!
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on July 27, 2016
Octavia is truly a master mind science fiction writer. Her stories parallel so many life lessons that cause one to think in ways that you would have never fathomed had you not read her work. I will even have to do some research on the book as I presume, the average brain is not thinking along the same lines she is. The book is so incredibly fascinating, you just have to read it and its even better if you've read her other works that have led up to this book. Trust me, once you get in, you will have a hard time putting it down.
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on March 10, 2015
Although the plot was interesting, the book tended to suffer from a lot of what I call "floating head syndrome." There was a lot of character dialog but no sort of movement or activity, it just literally felt like two heads speaking to each other with nothing else going on around them. This led to a lot of boring parts to read through. The characters weren't that interesting either. I couldn't find myself caring for either one of their struggles, not even the main character, who I felt could have been written better. Even when the main characters goals were met, it didn't leave me satisfied. Probably because the "villian" of the book, didn't really feel like much of a threat to me. Apparently, there are other books that are apart of this series, so I will read those as well. Hopefully, I can find myself liking those more than this one.
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on July 4, 2014
I loved this book. Octavia has a real gift for creating her characters and interspersing history and geography into her stories. Make sure you start from the beginning with Wild Seed and progress through all the previous books before you even think of picking up this book. That way you can really understand why the characters are acting and thinking the way they do.
Spoiler Alert: As you read Butler's trilogy, you come to root for certain characters in the past. You learn to love or hate or simply accept characters as they are. Then a new character comes along and then you see that maybe one of those 'accepted' characters can be done away with forever and you start re-rooting for the underdog against the accepted tyrant!! YAY!!!
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on August 13, 2012
I was mesmerized by this book. The author makes everything fit and flow into something believable. In this story we meet Doro, the 4000 year old founder and father of both active and latent psychics. He has experimented with the lower tenants of the human race, breeding them so that he can build his empire (but we find out that ambition is made out of something small and builds with need). We also meet the heroine, Mary (Doro's host duaghter), a girl raised up in the ghetto stealing and using her insignificant power to gain unfair privileges. Doro has the ability to mentally and permanently evacuate a person from his or her mind and use the body as his own for as long he wants. Once he is done using it, it becomes a shell until he comes back to it when it suits him. He controls the entire community of psychics; he is feared, loved, and respected. What we find out about Doro is that he is seen as the bringer of life and death in the story. He seems like the impersonal father who does not understand the concept of love, yet you would think otherwise. But towards the end his reason for wanting to build an empire of perfect psychics is very simple (read the story to find out). However, Doro's status changes when he forces Mary to marry Karl (Doro's son) and she transitions into a powerful psychic who is able to control a mass of psychics by creating a pattern (something Doro is incapable of doing because of his death before psychic activation). She creates a pattern that helped her trap 5 of the most strongest psychics in L.A. She goes head to head with Doro (psuedo-father)and everything changes for them.

The reason why I gave this book a 4 is because Octavia uses the same outline she used in another book and I was a full star upset about that.... other than, no one should miss out on the story-telling of OEB!

I also tried to relate this story to our current situation in today's political arena and the struggle for power. And she did a great job in showing it in this book. A selfish ruler caught up in his need, rather than those of his people has his place usurped by the one person you can actually say he loved. The good ruler, thought of her people first and in return they gave her the sustenance she needed and this gave her impenetrable power. Doro was defeated.
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on July 27, 2014
An interesting concept is explored in this well-written book by Octavia Butler. Telepaths, "latents", and others with extra-human mental abilities have been bred and guided for centuries by a powerful and immoral leader. When his plans come to fruition in the person of Mary, he may have gotten more than he can handle. She has ideas of her own for "her people".
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