Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dawn By Octavia E. Butler

BAE got me this book for Christmas. I'm quite sure he ordered it off of Amazon, which I won't hate.

Dawn  is the second Octavia Butler book I read and boy, it is different from Kindred. It is the first novel in the Xenogenesis series and it is science fiction. Its a definite departure from Kindred but still runs in the same strands of the African American female experience.

Lillith wakes up in a room. The ceiling is made up light and there is no decorations or furniture in the room except a platform where Lillith can sleep. She discloses that she has been "awoken" before and that other times, there hasn't been a bathroom attached to her cell. The reader has no idea who is keeping Lillith, only that she has been Awoken more than once and that she gets pretty terrible food. Also, in the past, she was Awoken with a human boy, whom she is very attached too, but then is taken away later on.

Also, you find out that there was a war between US and USSR that ended with the apocalypse. Lillith had a family who died when the bombs came and Lillith thought she died too until now because


LEGIT ALIENS ENTER THE PICTURE. Lillith wakes up, (or is Awoken again, I don't remember) and finds that there is someone else in the room. He hides in the shadow. After they talk for a bit, he reveals himself to be a slightly humanoid alien with sensory thingies (I want to say tentacles, but they aren't quite tentacles?) strategically placed all over his body that acts like his senses. Lillith, needless to say, is freaked out.

The Oankali are very interested in Lillith and the human race. Thinking they will just self-destruct if left alone, the Oankali want to help the human race... by combining their genetics. The human race will be no more and the Oankali chosen Lillith to convince the other humans the aliens saved into working with them.

It does not go as planned.

Like Kindred,  I read this book in just a few days. Butler does not falter in her steps in revealing how Lillith, the other humans and even the Oankali develop. I find Lillith a fascinating character and I sympathize with her but at the end of the book, is also repulsed by her. Even the aliens are multi-dimensional where you simultaneously are repulsed by them but feel pity for them as well.

Octavia Butler, you haven't let me down yet.

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