Lilith's Brood: Dawn / Adulthood Rites / Imago (Xenogenesis, #1-3)

Lilith's Brood: Dawn / Adulthood Rites / Imago (Xenogenesis, #1-3) - Octavia E. Butler I picked this up because it’s the favorite book of a close friend. I’m not a fan of Science Fiction. It’s usually too heady and symbolic, filled with names I can’t pronounce and languages that I can’t understand. I was happy that this lacked the latter but it was very heavy on the former. In a nutshell, this is a trilogy that explores humanity and what it means to be human. What do we loose of ourselves when we have no choice but to integrate into a society in order to survive?

I found myself very frustrated 80% of the time. Not at the writing but at the subject matter. Earth has been destroyed due to a war and the alien race of oankali takes a couple of humans and tries to rehabilitate them in order for them to survive. However, humans can’t survive alone as just being “humans”. Starting with Lilith, humans integrate themselves, literally, with the oankali. It made me mad that the humans wouldn’t fight and that Lilith just rationalized everything and went along. I was very angry, but at the same time I understood why Lilith did what she did. The oankali were in my view jailers and oppressors who forced the change upon humans all in the name of trying to help them. They never saw their actions as wrong, though at times they did realize that the way they went about it could be fixed. As an immigrant, I related. You come into a new country and must learn a new language, customs and social norms. You must learn to behave and dress the part in order to integrate into this new society which results in you losing a bit of who you were. But I suppose that is true of all people.

All in all, this was interesting but again, very heady and weird at times. The oankali are beings with sensory glads and arms all over. Frankly, it freaked me out. Very vivid imagery and symbolism that gave me weird dreams. I don’t think I will be picking up a sci-fi book again anytime soon.