Book Review: Dawn by Octavia E. Butler (Four Stars)

Book Review: Dawn (Xenogenesis #1) by Octavia E. Butler

Four Stars

“Humans, on the other hand, often lied easily and often.”

Wow! What’s not to like: awarding-winning, post-apocalypse, first contact, deep introspection, living space ship, weird aliens. The second half drags because the point-of-view female lead finds herself defending indefensible intrusions into people’s lives by aliens who are trying to save them—collectively, if not individually. (The choice of her name can’t have been an accident.)

I love first contact stories, and Butler handles this the best way possible, from deep inside the mind of the isolated, frightened human who experiences it.The problem with learning by your mistakes is the possibility you won’t survive them. Lilith makes plenty. She has help. Yeah, the men all are cardboard cutouts, but that’s how Lilith sees them. In fact, most humans don’t handle it well; probably realistic.

The ending is particularly satisfying because it wasn’t satisfying at all. More realistic than some of the sweet contrived endings we get in literature. “Tomorrow is another day” is descriptive as well as prescriptive. Good enough to impel us into the next volume.

Fulfills the promise made in Parable of the Sower, which I didn’t like nearly as well. (The xenogenesis series preceded the parable series, but was superior … so far.)

“We do what we do.”


One thought on “Book Review: Dawn by Octavia E. Butler (Four Stars)

  1. Pretty sure I read this one a long time ago. A woman of color, what a pioneer in the sci-fi world who wrote because she loved the work. She was very good at it. Thank you for the review.

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