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.
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.
I can't really compare the story to another book. It's more like a very interesting "Twilight Zone" episode.
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.
The main characters revulsion and acceptance at the same time.
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.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
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.
It reads just like a "Twilight Zone" episode. World war has wiped out humans and an alien race plans to save us, but at what cost. Will we still be human?
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.
It's purely original. Alien contact at its most intimate and somehow believable.
I don't notice the narrator unless they are bad.
This series is an old favorite of mine, glad it's finally on audible.
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
When humanity destroys itself with nuclear bombs, a very alien species steps forward to save the human race. But help comes with a price.
I generally don't re-read books; however, this science fiction novel by my favorite sci-fi author has been on my mind lately. I was happy to find that I love the book just as much now as I did twenty years ago.
Unlike some sci-fi authors, Butler connects with the readers emotionally and not just intellectually. Her alien civilization is fascinating, but so are her human characters. Lilith, the main character in the story, struggles with her loyalties. Should she fight against the alien 'captors' and align herself with aggressive humans, or should she turn her back on humankind and accept the aliens' proposed deal? It was one of those books that I find myself asking over and over again, what would I do in the same situation.
One thing that bothered me, though (and bothered me the first time I read the book as well) was that Lilith's character was too hard and assertive. She did have a softer side, but she was so wrapped up in her dilemma that she had no sense of humor. Also, I would have thought that at least one of the remaining humans would have accepted the aliens. From time to time, I got a little annoyed with Lilith and the other humans. Also, the book ended very abruptly (although, I understand it is the first book of a trilogy.)
For readers who are interested in Star Trek type alien civilizations, this is an outstanding read. I'm very glad that I returned to it after so many years. Butler is an amazingly creative and talented writer.
Aldrich Barrett was outstanding with the delivery of the story
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.
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.
The story has kind of rape-y tones and scenes, anyone who isn't comfortable with that should skip this book.
Originally published at: A Girl that Likes Books
Intelligence does aloud you to ignore the fact you dislike
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.
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.
Boring!!!! I thought I would try this Sci Fi book for a change from my usual reading material. It was terrible. Boring from the beginning, it did not hook me or get me at all and interested in the plot or characters. The narrator's voice was like finger nails down a chalk board!
System and software engineer from the UK now living and working in Silicon Valley.
I can't help feeling that this author doesn't think much of her fellow human. Very few of the humans in this book are decent people. Even when they are told they really need to be on their best behavior they still can't prevent themselves from acting as primitives. If people were really this bad with alternative life forms and making decent life decisions then the average person would run screaming at their first sight of a frog. People go to zoos and touch snakes or anything else they can get their hands on. At Seaworld they are happy to stick their hands in the ray tanks and let the fish feed out of their hands. (Carefully.)
With that as a basis for human behavior I just found this book tiresome. In the end I was just glad it wasn't longer. Soo much time wasted describing how suspicious and frightened and generally infantile the main character was. And she was supposed to be one of the best humans available. Well, in that case, they weren't worth saving.
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.
All of them
Learn about others and you'll learn about yourself
thanks for producing these audiobooks!!
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.