Book Reviews · POPSUGAR Reading Challenge · Science Fiction

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2020 Update: Week Thirty-Five

Good morning, everyone! I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend so far. It’s been a busy week at my house! As many of you know, this week I have been working on a home library reorganization project. The last few days have been tiring, but the project is going very well so far, and I’m sure that the results will be well worth the time and effort.

This week I did finish my reading of Lilith’s Brood, which contains all three books of Octavia E. Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy: Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago.

A book by a woman of color…

These books take place after a great war has all but destroyed Earth’s human population. The first novel, Dawn, focuses on the story of a woman named Lilith Iyapo, a war survivor who was rescued from the planet’s surface. She is Awakened approximately 250 years after the war, and learns that she has been taken aboard an alien spacecraft, and kept in a kind of suspended animation while the planet was being renewed. The aliens who have saved her and what remains of the planet’s human population are a race of beings known as the Oankali.

The Oankali are a unique species, which form family triads consisting of a male and female, as well as an ooloi (a third gender which facilitates and controls the family group’s reproduction). Lilith soon learns that the Oankali are traders by profession. Having saved the last of her kind, and healed their dying planet, the Oankali intend to trade their genetic material with the surviving humans, ultimately merging the two species.

While Dawn focuses primarily on Lilith, Adulthood Rites and Imago tell the stories of two of Lilith’s children. In the second and third books, we not only get to see how the Oankali and humans live together, but also the way in which some humans choose to live apart as “resisters.”

As I’ve mentioned in previous updates, this was my second time reading Dawn. I had the opportunity to read this novel when I was a college student as part of my science fiction seminar course, and I remember really enjoying the book. It was exciting to not only re-read Dawn as an adult, but to finally have the chance to read the other two books in the trilogy. I really enjoyed reading these novels, and would find it extremely difficult to choose a favorite among them.

Octavia E. Butler’s writing is absolutely amazing! The world that she built for these books is fascinating, and the characters really make you stop and think. Whether you are a long-time fan of science fiction, or just getting into the genre, I highly recommend taking the time to read all three books in the trilogy.

For those who are interested in reading this trilogy, I do think it is important to mention that there are some scenes in these books which contain elements that may cause emotional distress. These elements include mentions of suicide, rape, and discussions about surgical mutilation.

At this time, I have only one POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt remaining! That prompt is “read a banned book during Banned Books Week.” Since Banned Books Week does not take place until the last week of September, the next several Reading Challenge updates are going to look a little bit different. I’m saving those differences as a surprise for next Saturday, so I hope you’ll come back to check out next week’s update.

In the meantime, I hope you will join me tomorrow for my next home library reorganization project update. Also, be sure to check back this week for book reviews and other new content.

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