Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis #2) by Octavia E. Butler

Ok, random fact, the pages of the book were out of order. Like 4-5 pages of the book. I was confused for a moment because the middle of the sentence dropped off and then on the next page it would pick back up on a different spot (is this a new form of writing she is experimenting with?), but then I realized that the numbers were out of order.

For a $19.00 book that BAE paid for, I am disappointed that they messed up the book. It is also the book that Queen Octavia wrote, so the publisher should be more careful in constructing the book. I think I will write them a strongly worded letter.

This is the second book out of the series, Xenogenesis. The first book, Dawn, rocked my world and I was super excited to read the second book. I read it over a long weekend while I went to Ohio to visit a good friend of mine.

The 2nd book picks up where Lillith is on Earth and has given birth to the Oankali-human species, or construct children, they are called. Her youngest child, Akin, is the first male construct to be born of a human woman.

Oh, before I forget, a major part of Dawn and now of  Adulthood Rites are the themes surrounding procreation, sex and relationships. The Oankali do things a littttttle differently than humans. Along with male and female Oankali, there is a third sex, called Ooloi, where the reproduction occurs. The Ooloi in the first book wedged itself into Lillith's and her lover, Joseph's lives and though it is sexless, many men have registered it as a male due to it's position of power. Lots o' male jealousy.

When the Oankali begin to mesh genetics with humans, construct children has up to 5 (!!!) parents. Jesus, I can barely manage 2. The Ooloi are busy blending DNA of both species and Akin noticeably looks a lot more human than it's siblings. Though Akin looks like a baby, he is extremely intelligent and composes himself quite well.

His baby/human like features will be his curse for most of the book. Humans who were saved by the Oankali were sent down to the newly habitable Earth mostly bolted from the grip of the Oankali. However, there is one catch--they cannot have children. Raiders are then in the market to steal construct children for human villages, and they swipe Akin, to mixed results.

This is a strong second novel in the series exploring the idea of consent and the idea of what humanity is, and what it takes to survive. This book and Dawn also gives me the heeby jeebies in being coerced into consenting to mate with something that is not human. Ooloi and the Oankali several times in both books comment on how they studied humans and they know what is best for humans.

Seriously, Butler. What the fuck. Way to mess with my mind and also draw parallels to colonization. I can't wait until I acquire the third book. I wonder how this series will end...

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