Woooo, Diversiverse! Sadly, I only managed one book. And I’m posting my review of it on the very last day. But unfortunately work and game night and date night all got in the way, so here we are. I picked Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy #1) by Octavia Butler. I read Kindred by her YEARS ago and have been feeling more and more ridiculous for not reading more of her.
Dawn is about Lilith Iyapo, and let’s face it, the description on Amazon sums it up better than I can:
When Lilith wakes up, she’s isolated and terrified. Teetering on the edge of crazy, she finally meets one of her captors – Jdhaya, one of the alien species called Oankali. She’s scared and repulsed by him – these aliens have a lot of tentacles that they use to see, hear, communicate, and more. She learns how about them, and how they have mastered genetics and tinkering with things on a molecular level. It’s been 250 years since they gathered Lilith and other survivors from the wreckage that was Earth. Now, they’ve studied humans and Earth has healed enough to be lived on again. A group of Oankali will settle on Earth with a group of humans – literally re-populating the world, but not with the same species as before. The Oankali believe in trading – some of their genes for some of the human genes, and the future populations of the world will ideally be a blend of the strengths of each. They want Lilith to assist in Awakening more of the humans, and prepare them to meet the Oankali and survive in the wilderness on Earth. But Lilith finds their plan horrible, and wants to use her position of teaching these humans as a way to save the human race.
This book has crazy awesome kinds of sci-fi elements – weird aliens, genetic evolution, a giant spaceship. Some friendships form that make you care about the characters. Initially, Lilith kind of drove me crazy. Without the Oankali, there would be no human survivors at all – the Earth was about to descend into nuclear winter and everything would have perished. And I would LOVE to be given some awesome alien modifications. Longevity? Sure. Strength? Why not. Eidetic memory? YES PLEASE.
I am kind of eagerly awaiting the day when mankind figures out how to work with genetics in such a precise way, so hearing about aliens that do that kind of thing naturally was totally up by alley. It tickles my love-of-science bone. I flew through this (which for me is still about 5 days, but shut up I’m busy.)
Also, I noticed that Katie has been including author blurbs – a fantastic idea, since Diversiverse is about reading non-white authors. So here’s a bit about Octavia Butler:
Octavia E. Butler was a bestselling and award-winning author of science fiction. She began writing when she was twelve years old, and she continued to take writing classes throughout her college years. She went on to win the Nebula and Hugo awards, and she was the first author of sci-fi to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. Her work often explores themes of racism, religion, sexuality, and class. In an interview, she was asked: “What then is central to what you want to say about race?” Butler’s response was, “Do I want to say something central about race? Aside from, ‘Hey we’re here!’?” Butler died in 2006 at the age of 58 outside of her home in Washington.
Basically, Octavia Butler is kind of a genius and I can’t wait to read the others in the trilogy. I read the first few pages of the second book as a sneak peek and oh my gawd, yes. It’s gonna be good.
Sarah Says: 4 stars