Monday, August 17, 2009

Adulthood Rites by Octavia E. Butler

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Pages: 277
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Xenogensis Series (Book 2 of 3)
Publication Date: 1988

Synopsis (From back of book) Contains Spoilers:

The Oankali aliens have saved Earth. For a price. Oankali survival requires constant genetic exchange...and we are their new mating stock. The resisters reject the Oankali to live free in the wilds, a last generation of sterile humans sinking into savagery and suicide, stealing and mutilating half-alien hybrid babies to claim as their own. Akin is a hybrid, an Oankali construct infant, his body a bridge between worlds. He looks human, but can remember the womb, taste molecular structure, and kill with a toxic touch...

Kidnapped from his Oankali home, Akin is thrust into a resisters' society of desperation, violence, need – pride. He can understand his captors only by becoming less alien. He can help the resisters only by becoming more alien. Akin can defend human beings only by becoming Oankali.

And if Akin tries to save humanity, the humans will kill him.


Note: It is impossible to review this book with spoiling some of the first book. Be aware this review may and does contain what spoilers. But if you have already read the synopsis than some of the first books is already spoiled. On to the review.

In Adulthood Rites, Butler picks what where she left off. It is about 30 years after Dawn and Lilith has bore and contains to have alien hybrid (constructs) children. Adulthood Rites is the story of one of those children. Told in a limited third person narrative, Adulthood Rites is the look into the struggles that the Akin (Lilith's only human born constructs male child) and the humans resisters that now inhibit the earth. As in the first book (Dawn), Butler contains to explore the theme of what it means to be human and the contradictions that are inherent in humanity. Even though the story is in third person, the reader only gets to see the world through Akin's senses. This position allows readers not only to connect with the human resisters but also evaluate aspects of humanity that lead the Oankali make humans resist sterile. Through Akin, readers get to see how humans make choices that lead to violence, rage, despair, and sorrow. But they also get to see that for most people the idea of the future and progress, mainly through children, is what makes up want to achieve greater heights. Butler is able to do all this expertly in a simple narrative that is less than three hundred pages.

Pros: Writing, Characters, Plot
Cons: N/A

Overall Recommendation:

This book in my opinion is better than Dawn. It could just be because I like the outcome more in this book than the other. But I would recommend this book to anyone that has read the first. But it is important that the books are read in order, so of the important themes and events are needed to make the story make flow accurately.

TBR Challenge (14 out of 12 Books)
Series Challenge (11 out of 15 Books)

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