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Lilith's Brood Library Binding – June 26, 2008
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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- Publisher : Paw Prints 2008-06-26; Reprint edition (June 26, 2008)
- Language : English
- Library Binding : 746 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1439501696
- ISBN-13 : 978-1439501696
- Item Weight : 1.7 pounds
- Dimensions : 1.5 x 5.25 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,086,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I was amazed at these novels. This trilogy that Ms. Butler has created. It's post-apocalyptic with a different twist. An Alien species saves the survivors of a modern apocalyptic war that destroys most of Earth. These aliens repair Earth and they take the survivors, those willing to become part of their species. Humanity will get to the Stars once the Aliens trade DNA with them. The first novel tells the tale on one survivor and her indoctrination into the Aliens society. The second book tells the story of her son, a human-alien construct. The third book tells the story of the first human-construct of the Alien's third sex. Yes, they have male, female, and a third type, one that can manipulate DNA at the molecular level.
These books make you think about what it is to be human. That was one of Octavia Butler's strengths, this type of story. Buy it, I guarantee that you will enjoy it, be fascinated with this trilogy. Well worth the money.
Oh, what would I do? Join with them of course.
For various reasons (slow pacing, too much introspection, and a bit repetitive), the books are just not quite my cup of tea. They will, however, appeal to lots of readers, not just sci-fi fans. The writing is thoughtful and philosophical. But don't look for action or a lively pace in them.
As many other reviewers have said, this book asks some difficult questions and leaves it to the reader to provide the answers. How is consent affected by a being who really CAN read a human's physical signals like they're reading a book? Why is appearance so important to humans that we will react with terror to something that is "other," or be willing to mutilate healthy children to make appearance more conventional? At what point do we cease being human at all?
The science fiction (at the time the book was written) largely involves genetic manipulation. When the first baby with three biological parents was born this year, my first thought was "Wow! Just like the Oankali (without the awesome ooloi sex). Octavia Butler, as always, seems so prescient.
This book gets my highest recommendation.
Top reviews from other countries
The first book in this Lillith's Brood trilogy was extremely good, with the one caveat that it didn't have much of an ending, obviously intended to carry on to the sequel. That she managed to write with such foresight about genetic engineering, at a time when that technology was in its infancy, is amazing. As with the short story Bloodchild, there is a unique dichotomy - mankind is enslaved, oppressed, but also cherished.
Unfortunately, the second and third books didn't really have any new ideas, and by the third book she was repeating similar situations, and there was some sloppy editing. All of this was very disappointing, after the true brilliance of Bloodchild.
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.
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.