We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Dawn Audiobook

Dawn: Xenogenesis, Book 1

Dawn: Xenogenesis, Book 1 is now in Channels.
How to Listen
  • To access Channels, you'll need the latest version of the app.
  • iOS - Tap the Channels icon on the main menu.
    Android/Windows - Tap on the hamburger menu and select Channels
  • Tap on the Worlds Away: Sci-Fi Classics channel to listen to Dawn: Xenogenesis, Book 1.
Unlimited listening to Channels is included with Audible membership. Learn more
Channels requires the latest version of the
Audible app for Android, iOS, and Windows 10.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation while the aliens begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet. When Lilith Iyapo is "awakened", she finds that she has been chosen to revive her fellow humans in small groups by first preparing them to meet the utterly terrifying aliens, then training them to survive on the wilderness that the planet has become. But the aliens cannot help humanity without altering it forever.

Bonded to the aliens in ways no human has ever known, Lilith tries to fight them even as her own species comes to fear and loathe her. A stunning story of invasion and alien contact by one of science fiction's finest writers.

©1987 Octavia E. Butler (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1482 )
5 star
 (615)
4 star
 (449)
3 star
 (269)
2 star
 (99)
1 star
 (50)
Overall
4.0 (1369 )
5 star
 (572)
4 star
 (407)
3 star
 (247)
2 star
 (87)
1 star
 (56)
Story
4.3 (1365 )
5 star
 (696)
4 star
 (447)
3 star
 (164)
2 star
 (36)
1 star
 (22)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Barbara 11-26-14
    Barbara 11-26-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    260
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow..."
    Where does Dawn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Dawn ranks up into my top 5 books of all time. I read a lot of books, sci-fi, fantasy and horror. I have been through so many different authors that it's mind boggling. Not one can I say I am what you'd call a "fan." I would buy two maybe three books by a single author and lose interest. They eventually become unrelatable and repetitive to me. I am a very hard to please book fan... extremely hard to please. I have just discovered Octavia E. Butler last week. I have already read /listened to four of her books. For me, the way she writes is a way I can relate to. I see myself in her characters. I listen to her "Forwards" and "Afterwards" and I am right there with her. I've never had that with an author before. She is a real literary gem and more than deserving of every award she won. At least, in my opinion.


    What other book might you compare Dawn to and why?

    I can't really compare the story to another book. It's more like a very interesting "Twilight Zone" episode.


    Have you listened to any of Aldrich Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first listen to Aldrich Barrett. She is Amazing. Her voice is soothing yet to the point and quietly intense when it needs to be. Her character voices are easily distinguishable. She has no overly cartoony voices. She doesn't try to have a "male" voice, yet it comes across clearly that she's speaking as a male character. No obnoxious lisp, gross popping saliva like sound some other readers have. I would Love to hear a book read by her coupled with Tim Curry.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The main characters revulsion and acceptance at the same time.


    Any additional comments?

    Give one of Octavia's books a try. I rarely rave about authors, you can see this from my other reviews. If you like stories that reply more on the actual story to be interesting, psychologically complex, then Octavia's writing is for you. If you Only need 6 hours of someone bashing in skulls to entertain you and scare you (Not that I am opposed to such books, they just aren't very.... scary, kind of boring and most try too hard to be shocking that they fail horribly), you will not have the intellect to understand the real horror she writes about.

    59 of 68 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-27-16
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-27-16 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3390
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1038
    1005
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    254
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Conversations"

    I'LL OPEN THE WALL FOR YOU
    Written in 1987, I don't understand how it is considered a Classic. This is not even one of Butler's most well known novels, nor has it won any awards.

    SHE WONDERED WHAT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE WITH IT'S SECOND PAIR OF ARMS
    The concept is interesting and worth exploring. Earth has done themselves in with a major global war. An alien race decides to save the human race. The alien race terraforms the earth. The rub here, is that they terraform it differently than it had been. They are masters at gene manipulation. In saving humans they take some of our genes and gives us some of their genes. The end human product will not be the same humans as was before Armageddon. This could have been an exciting story, appealing to many fans. The book is intellectual and leads to stimulating conversation. The problem, is the book is mostly conversations. Very little really happens, it is mostly talking and asking questions. Reads like a thesis.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 05-02-16
    David 05-02-16 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1993
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    369
    365
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    301
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange, interesting, uncomfortable"

    This is an unusual story of a post-apocalyptic alien invasion. "Invasion" is not even really the right word, considering that mankind had all but destroyed itself already, and the alien Oankali merely rescued the survivors. "Rescued" them and put them in a sort of suspended hibernation aboard their giant world-like ship.

    When Lilith Iyapo awakens, she is slowly made aware of her new situation. Not only is she one of the last survivors of the human race, but it's actually been hundreds of years since she "died" and she is now the unwilling "guest" of an alien race that has definite but unspoken plans for humanity.

    Lilith behaves like a human being - imperfectly, sometimes irrationally. Slowly, the Oankali establish a relationship of sorts with her, characterized by mistrust on Lilith's part and inscrutable affection mixed with frustration and condescending from the Oankali. Lilith wants to meet other humans, but it never seems to go well. The Oankali are frustratingly vague, and while despite all of Lilith's paranoid imaginings, they never mistreat her or do anything to her at all, they also refuse most of her simplest requests, like paper to write on.

    As she learns more about the Oankali and what they plan for her, she realizes that humans and Oankali are now inextricably bound together whether either race likes it or not.

    Octavia Butler, the late, lamented genius of SF, wrote stories that were very much statements about race, sex, and power, and in plain sight, but like her prose, it was straightforward and unelaborate. A lot is left for the reader to infer, though none of it is very hidden. Butler writes the Oankali as very interesting aliens who are themselves imperfect - vastly more advanced and in most ways wiser than humans, but still prone to errors of judgment, as well as letting their feelings overcome their common sense. They are also weird and, as Lilith's reactions make clear, creepy, even moreso when it turns out that Oankali actually need humans for some sort of interspecies bonding future, which does in fact involve sexual contact, which is also described plainly if not graphically.

    There is a lot in this first book of the Xenogenesis trilogy to find disturbing. Butler usually includes sex and power relationships in her books and they're always uncomfortable. There's also a lot to like, as the human-alien conflict rarely involves violence and never escalates to a military confrontation (humans don't even have a military any more), so you might think of it as a story akin to "The Body Snatchers" if the alien pod people were... well, individuals and not really malevolent and also not really trying to replace humanity, per se. So not much like the Body Snatchers at all, except that they elicit the same fears from humans and not completely without reason, because whatever their intentions and however sympathetic they may be, they are going to do what they're going to do regardless of how humans feel about it.

    A very interesting novel, and while I found some parts a little predictable (like almost all the other humans inevitably proving violent and untrustworthy), and I might have enjoyed just a little more literary embellishment, I will probably continue the trilogy.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terijo AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 05-20-14
    Terijo AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    122
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    217
    81
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant writer: originality extreme!"
    What did you love best about Dawn?

    It's purely original. Alien contact at its most intimate and somehow believable.


    What about Aldrich Barrett’s performance did you like?

    I don't notice the narrator unless they are bad.


    Any additional comments?

    This series is an old favorite of mine, glad it's finally on audible.

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolina Montreal, QC, Canada 07-26-14
    Carolina Montreal, QC, Canada 07-26-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing, a wonderful Sci-Fi! Super recomended"

    Originally published at: A Girl that Likes Books

    Intelligence does aloud you to ignore the fact you dislike


    First impression

    When this was selected for the Sword and Laser I learned that my library only had the second book in the series. The premise seemed so unique and I really wanted to read a book by Octavia E. Buttler so I decided to get myself a copy through Audible. Now I am very happy I did since I want to be able to give it to people to listen too; I will be getting the rest of the trilogy too.

    Final thoughts

    The book works with the premise that human race has been almost annihilated from Earth, due to war. A few survivors have been "rescued" by an extraterrestrial species, called Oankali, who are described as being covered by tiny tentacles (I imagined their skin like an inside out version of the small intestine, but that's just me) with slight human appearance when approaching Lilith, the main character, at first. Lilith is a black woman who has been awaken several times before (she ignores how many) and she has been selected as the person who will train a new group of humans to be taken back to Earth.

    This book was absolutely amazing. I was afraid I was going to have a problem with the voice given to the Oankali since a lot of people were wondering about this on the Internet, but Aldrich Barrett made a great job, at least for me. Independent of the format that you are reading this book will touch a very big question: What exactly makes us human? Is it our bodies? Is it our culture? Can one be separated of the other?

    Such a unique book. It has a great main character, that not only questions her own humanity but puts into discussion how human relationships are built and their outcomes. The way she is treated by this alien race and then the way the other humans treated her for me was a questioning of the society we've grown accustomed to. It was interesting to see secondary characters that represented greed or fear to an extreme point and how this type of behaviours affected the construction of a whole new dynamic between individuals.

    I liked that, for a sci-fi, it wasn't "plagued" with terminology. Sure, we have the names of the different Oankali, but doors aren't call intramural passages for example, or worst, made up words without context. All is being explained to Lilith and through her to ours and yet it all feels so alien.

    Someone said that for him this book was racist and homophobic, which I feel obliged to counter here. Yes there are comments against Lilith being the leader, as she is a woman, but this comment came from another human and from my point of view, this was pout there precisely to point out how society still reacts like that with a woman on a position of power. The fact that the book has a sexist or an homophobic character, does not make the book sexist nor homophobic. The book deals with several "hard" subjects, such as race, sexism, rape just to name a few. But I think the author's intention was to start a discussion about them, show how this can appear and the consequences. I believe this book pushes a lot of buttons, but in a very good way. I have already recommended the book all over the place and can't wait to continue with the story, learn more about the Oankali and Lilith's outcome.

    39 of 52 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-19-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not very good."
    What could Octavia E. Butler have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Better character development would have made the book more enjoyable. All of the human characters have the same abrasive tastes in the words they use. The author explains outright exactly which niche each character is meant to fill, this one is the best friend, this one is the lover, that one is the aggressive brute, instead of showing the reader by action and speech who they are. Except for the main character, they are in the story to fulfill a function. In the end, they are neither memorable or identifiable. The story could have been a lot shorter and had exactly the same content. The same phrases are used over and over again by the characters in speech as they are just repeating themselves.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The way the author described the setting and the alien race involved were colorful and interesting. The exposition was nicely done and exciting. I enjoyed the first half of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    The story has kind of rape-y tones and scenes, anyone who isn't comfortable with that should skip this book.

    29 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 01-27-14
    Michael 01-27-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    221
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intense"
    What did you love best about Dawn?

    I was hooked after the second chapter. I felt like I could see and feel everything Lilith was going through. I couldn't stop listening. I can't wait to download the rest of the series.


    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eponymous Hoosier ExPatriate 05-06-16
    Eponymous Hoosier ExPatriate 05-06-16 Member Since 2011

    Eponymous

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Shallow Characters, Plot Gaps, Contrived Conflicts"
    What would have made Dawn better?

    The author seems to have no real understanding of the complexities of human character. She assumes all humans (except, perhaps, her two chosen protagonists) will revert to primitive, atavistic barbarism if held in confinement.Characters were introduced badly, then behaved in rather unrealistic ways.Some significant plot developments were mentioned only casually and retrospectively. (e.g., first and ongoing, and apparently quite satisfying, sexual contact with the "neuter" alien is mentioned as a sort of afterthought during later wild alien sex). Other bits and pieces seem significant, but are never explained (WHY can't Lilith have paper and pen at first, about which a great fuss is made? NEVER explained. Suddenly she gets paper and pens. Huh?)Even the greatest mystery of all (the aliens are "compelled" to interbreed with humans) is never really explained, although hints are dropped.


    Has Dawn turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Will never, ever read another Octavia E. Butler book.


    What does Aldrich Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good "neuter" voice -- although it is confusing, as several characters refer to the neuter alien as being more male than female, and Barrett's voicing clearly sounds like the "neuter" is a small, female child.


    What character would you cut from Dawn?

    Leah--what purpose does she serve? Also the woman who supposedly goes berserk because she wants a cheeseburger. She has survived nuclear war and suspended animation, and now she is back with humans at last, and she attacks another human because she suspects she is being purposely, and for nefarious reasons, denied meat. Puh-leaze!


    Any additional comments?

    It is completely unrealistic to think that these humans require weeks or more, and drugs, to get used to creepy aliens. Okay, the aliens are wormy/tentacle-y. So? Show the humans a few pictures of the aliens to habituate them tom the idea. Not much different than the reptile house at the zoo, ultimately. Some humans LOVE creepy-crawlies. Weeks to be able to touch a nightcrawler hand? No way.And these humans supposedly see green pod plants that hold their fellow humans in suspended animation, see walls growing out of the floor at the touch of a hand, wear clothes made of an unknown material, and a few other creepy things, yet we are supposed to think that the majority of them refuse to even consider the possibility that this is extra-terrestrial. Hmmmm... How many suspended-animation pod plants have you seen for sale at your local plant nursery lately?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger United States 05-03-16
    Roger United States 05-03-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Burp"

    This was aweful. She managed to write aliens better than humans. People don't act that way...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 04-30-16
    Josh 04-30-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "worst recommendation"

    horrible. bad narration. zero character development. good initial plot turned into alien porn. I stopped with one hour to go

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Lewis MacKenzie
    8/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Sci fi. Very intriguing. Body horror galore!"

    I am required to write 20 words so that I can get past this screen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • an italian in london
    London, UK
    8/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "masterpiece"
    If you could sum up Dawn in three words, what would they be?

    For years I read Octavia E. Butlers books and then I stopped and now Audible is giving me a chance to re-read (or better: listen to) books I had already read decades ago but also to listen to books I did not know.
    Xenogenesis is a group of 3 books that I had not read before and it's great.
    This one in particular, the first one, it definitely the best because it introduces the Oankali and their culture.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything


    Which character – as performed by Aldrich Barrett – was your favourite?

    All of them


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Learn about others and you'll learn about yourself


    Any additional comments?

    thanks for producing these audiobooks!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.