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Dawn: Xenogenesis, Book 1 | [Octavia E. Butler]

Dawn: Xenogenesis, Book 1

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.
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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

4.1 (95 )
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4.1 (89 )
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4.2 (88 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Christopher Houston, TX, United States 02-07-14
    Christopher Houston, TX, United States 02-07-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Creepy alien sex is suprisingly interesting..."
    Would you listen to Dawn again? Why?

    Sure.


    Any additional comments?

    I chose this book on a whim because I had been reading quite a bit of ghosts, vampires, and werewolves stories and I needed a change up. This was certainly a change up. I thoroughly enjoyed the captivity of the last of all humankind lol. Its a good read. In the end I wanted to read more. That is the best compliment a writer can hope for isn't it?

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Pell City, AL, United States 01-27-14
    Michael Pell City, AL, United States 01-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolina Montreal, QC, Canada 07-26-14
    Carolina Montreal, QC, Canada 07-26-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    1 of 1 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
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles R Field 08-07-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Chick Romance not sci-fi"

    Aliens take her prisoner and force her to have amazing sex with them, not that she wants to. Sometimes they restrain her and it amazing, but she feels bad about it later. And, of course, all the human men are rapist. Its tragic and heart felt and really stupid.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Conley, Georgia, United States 07-08-14
    Erin Conley, Georgia, United States 07-08-14 Member Since 2011

    iPodLuvR

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I liked the story. But the readers voice..."
    Would you listen to Dawn again? Why?

    maybe the ending, before I continue to the next book....


    Any additional comments?

    The writing and story is captivating, and I could identify with the main character's sense of conflict about the circumstances. The reader did a decent job giving each character their own voice. Not to be mean, but her voice just annoyed me in a very personal way, just me I guess. I might have preferred a multi-cast reading for so many players in the story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alyssa Homan Los Angeles, CA USA 03-14-14
    Alyssa Homan Los Angeles, CA USA 03-14-14

    My commute is long and the audiobooks are longer. Brevity is not my strong suit. @alyssahoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Been there. Done that."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This is an older book and as such the subject matter has been interpreted in many different ways by many different authors. I found the concepts a bit nihilistic, the pacing slow and the details tedious. Also, tentacle porn.


    What could Octavia E. Butler have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    It was the first in a trilogy and I'm one of the few in my book club who didn't enjoy it. I've read/seen this theme done so many times and I don't enjoy it any more. The writing was tedious but it's all just my personal taste and not a reflection of the author.


    What aspect of Aldrich Barrett’s performance would you have changed?

    Her pronunciation of a fictional language was brilliant. That being said, I'm not sure if the subject matter has clouded my enjoyment but I found her performance to be pretty boring. She was easy to understand, she did very well with the subtle nuances that indicated a different character was speaking, especially considering how many characters ended up being introduced. The only complaint I have is that she was a little dull.


    Do you think Dawn needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It's part of a series so, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall, I was bored and it was a slog to get through. If you haven't exhausted the whole apocalyptic, Earth has destroyed itself and we have to learn to rebuild society alongside aliens thing then this book may be enjoyable for you.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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