The Xenogenesis Trilogy by Octavia Butler

April 26, 2017 Science Fiction 11

Howdy Bookworms,

Can we talk about how brilliant Octavia Butler is for a minute? I refuse to discuss her in the past tense, despite her having shuffled off this mortal coil a little over a decade ago. I have read quite a chunk of her body of work at this point, and I am blown away every time. She never leans on a formula; every topic from time travel to dystopian societies and even vampire lore is fresh and innovative. Which is why I OBVIOUSLY had to dive into her trilogy on aliens. Because ALIENS!

Don’t be fooled by the attractive woman’s cleavage on the cover. This book is about aliens full of tentacles.

The Xenogenesis Trilogy (sometimes known as Lilith’s Brood) consists of three installments, Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago. The premise of these novels is that humanity has finally gone and done it and destroyed the Earth and themselves in the process. Big giant war, probably nuclear, wipes out all the things, and is horrible. Lilith Iyapo along with the other human survivors plucked from the wreckage of our now uninhabitable planet have been rescued by a mysterious alien race called the Oankali. The Oankali are motivated by two things. First, they feel compelled to heal any suffering they encounter. Second, they have a desperate need to merge with other species on a genetic level. While Lilith and the other survivors are given another chance at life, it’s nothing like the life they used to know.

I really don’t know how someone could NOT be intrigued by that story line. I mean, aliens cast not as aggressors, but rescuers? Complicated morality? SCIENCE? It’s as delicious and complex a series as anything else I’ve read by Butler and it’ll get the old noodle working big time. If you’re in the mood for a truly bizarre and innovative journey, you can’t beat The Xenogenesis Trilogy.

Alright Bookworms, who’s got Alien book recomendations for me?

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11 Responses to “The Xenogenesis Trilogy by Octavia Butler”

  1. A.M.B.

    I haven’t read any of Octavia Butler’s books–i don’t read much science fiction–but I really should.

    • wordsfor

      If you’re wishy-washy on sci-fi but want to try Butler, start with Kindred. It’s excellent and I find the time travel easier to jump into than, say, aliens. Although, the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Talents are basically just dystopias and those are frighteningly apt at the moment. You know. If you need more reason to be terrified.

      • A.M.B.

        Ha. I don’t think I need any more reason to be terrified, but thanks for the recommendations! Kindred sounds good.

  2. micheleframe

    Dawn is, for me, one of the greatest sci-fi books ever. It is original, creepy, and sexually confusing (in a good way). What great aliens.

    My best Alien book recommendation is Blindsight by Peter Watts.

    • wordsfor

      Oh yeah, the Ooloi? That was intense and cause for much introspection. I’ll have to check out Blindsight. Thanks for the rec :).

  3. Jenny @ Reading the End

    OKAY so if a girl wanted to get into Octavia Butler, which one of her bookses or serieses would be best to start with? I read Kindred and I thought it was, like, fine? But I also get really upset when I read fiction about slavery so that was never going to be a good fit for me.

  4. Stephanie Ward

    I still haven’t read anything by Octavia Butler, although I love time travel and all things sci fi. Thanks for the incentive to bump her toward the top of my TBR list.

  5. DoingDewey

    I recently read my first Octavia Butler, Kindred, and it was amazing as the hype led me to expect. I’d definitely pick up a book on any topic she wanted to write about!

Talk to me, Bookworms!