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Lilith's Brood Paperback – 1 Jun 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (1 Jun. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446676101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446676106
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"SHOWS THE AUTHOR AT THE HEIGHT OF HER IMAGINATIVE AND WRITING POWERS". -- Essence

From the Back Cover

The acclaimed trilogy that comprises LILITH'S BROOD is multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winner Octavia E. Butler at her best. Presented for the first time in one volume, with an introduction by Joan Slonczewski, Ph.D., LILITH'S BROOD is a profoundly evocative, sensual -- and disturbing -- epic of human transformation.

Lilith Iyapo is in the Andes, mourning the death of her family, when war destroys Earth. Centuries later, she is resurrected -- by miraculously powerful unearthly beings, the Oankali. Driven by an irresistible need to heal others, the Oankali are rescuing our dying planet by merging genetically with mankind. But Lilith and all humanity must now share the world with uncanny, unimaginably alien creatures: their own children. This is their story...

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I have not read these since I was a teenager, back when they were released ("Lilith's Brood, formerly-known as the Xenogenesis trilogy, refers to a collection of three novels"). I cannot say how wonderful these were to me then, and I am surprised that now that I have re-read them in middle age (all 3 novels in 4 days! yes, they are still un-put-downable) how much these stories had become a part of me, a part of my imagination and how I parsed the world and fiction.

There are a few things that I noticed now as an adult that I had not noticed when young (no longer being a "subadult" myself, I get things more as a fully fledged grown up would, things that didn't overly interest me when young -- which is good. The novels are deep and textured). And there are a couple of historical tidbits in the first novel that momentarily make you realise what century this was written in (i.e., a Russia vs USA, cold war reference) but they are not integral to the storylines and they slip by very quickly. These novels are as easily read now, as a reflection on the human condition, as they were back then. They have not aged in that way and don't read like 'historical and good for you literature' but like great contemporary, engaging literature that you can't put down until you finish and when you finish you want more.

I am so happy I read them when I was young. I am thrilled that I read them again now. And I cannot wait until my own children are old enough to read them.
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This compilation book contains all three "Xenogenesis" books by Octavia Butler: "Dawn", "Adulthood Rites", and "Imago". Very much recommended. Specially in the light of contemporary genetic experiments...
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I stumbled upon this book while looking for new biopunk novels to read after finishing "The Windup Girl" (another great read) and was intrigued by the consistent 5-star rating. The synopsis gives the idea of the story, but there is so much more to it than "all of humanity must share the world with uncanny, unimaginable alien creatures after war destroys Earth" - at the same time, to say more would do a disservice to the complexity of the characters and their development. Each novel in the trilogy is told from the point of view of a different character, but this is done smoothly and with connections to the other characters the reader is already familiar with. Many issues are covered ranging from genetics to human nature to the importance and definition of family. I couldn't put this book down and wish there was more of it to read!
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This was recommended to me by someone I met on holiday and I am so grateful.
I loved this book (or books) for its exploration of the human mind and the effects of controlled breeding on evolution. The concept was brilliant and the book very well written with convincing characters and as a result totally gripping. I could not put it down and want to read everything she has written.
I put it up there with Enders Game as the best scifi I have read.
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The overall plot of this collection is that after the end of human civilization in World War Three (a very typical sci-fie beginning) an alien species called the Oankali intervenes and rescues what it can from Earth. This alien race then begins an attempt to repair the planet prior to re-populating it with the rescued humans and other creatures. However, very soon it is revealed that as payment for this help the humans must "trade" with them. This "trade" entails inter-breeding to create a new species that takes genetic traits from the aliens themselves and the humans. As you can imagine some humans dislike this plan, especially when it is revealed that humans will not be able to breed amongst themselves anymore without the intervention of the Oankali and will therefore soon cease to exist as an independent species. The collection takes us through the lives of several Human and Human-Oankali hybrids as some members of humanity try and resist the "trade" whilst others are willing to accept this quasi colonisation attempt.

It is a rather complex and thoughtful book and I won't really say much more about the plot as I think it may ruin it for any readers. This is due to the fact that one of the most interesting aspects of this collection is the way in which Butler slowly reveals information to both the characters and readers about the full predicament that faces humanity and Earth itself. I will just say that the book's plot enables it to delve into various aspects of society such as slavery, freedom, eugenics, racism, sexuality, violence, rape and what it really actually means to be human.

One specific thing I am going to have to speak about is Butler's attempt at creating an alien species that has three genders.
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I am absolutely enjoying the series and will purchase other books this author has written. Really excellent value. This book was inspirational in terms of trying to understand how she planned the topic, decided on her characters, and delivered the writing.
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