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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on March 17, 2002
Lilth's Brood is a great read on two different planes, either of which would have been sufficient to make it a good book. The first is the story, it is creative, unique and plausable--not just a wild flight of science fiction fantasy! The briefest of summaries--the earth distroys itself in war, an alien race rescues the few remaining people, but as payment for the rescue "trades" with them, the trade being genentic material, and thus a new being is created as a combination of the two. The second plane of the book is the deep, complex look that Butler takes into the soul of the human race, human sexuality, human society and human morals--all using the facade of the alien race's needs and desires as the looking-glass. This is the most facinating aspect of the book. Butler's ability to express emotional need and yearning is amazing, and very real. She must be a wonderful person herself to even understand this aspect of the human soul.
This book illustrates the need for cleaner defintions of the genre "science fiction". It is a book that would appeal more to readers of serious psychological work than science fiction.
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on June 4, 2004
Some time ago I've read for the first time a book from Ms Butler. I was captivated by her amazing imagination and quality of her prose and became instantly a fan of the author. This first impression was corroborated as I read more of her writings.
All her books showed a rich mixture of imagination, complex and interesting characters and conflictive situations to test their mettle.
"Lilith's Brood" is not an exception to Ms. Butler production. Humans had self destroyed but miraculously an alien race, the Onkalis, came to the rescue.
The Onkalis traveled eons and genetically mix with other alien species, evolving each time with the exchange. They are a three gender race and their sight produces an overwhelming rejection reaction in human beings. Is it possible to overcome this? Ms. Butler shows all possible reactions through the characters of her novels. Onkalis also have mixed reactions to Humans. They are uncertain on how to handle them. Save them against their will? Enforce their view point? This and other candent questions are addressed. Their resolution is not simple and in this complexity a rich story evolves.
High science fiction stuff!!!
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on April 7, 2003
I purchased this trilogy, bound quite differently, from the SF/F Book Club many many years ago. The cover was so childish and stupid-looking I actually never read it.
I ran out of things to read lately and noticed it.
My goodness.
The story explains the almost-end of human civilization, and the subsequent "saving" of it by an alien race. But the only way the aliens will "save" humanity is by genetically altering it to be something completely different. The three books mainly deal with humans' reactions to this. Some would rather die than be changed. Some would rather live and be changed. Some would rather kill the ones who want to live, so the change won't happen to anyone.
What's fascinating about the series is the way the focus changes throughout. The first book is written in third person, and is focused entirely on Lilith, a human. The second book is also written in third person, but focuses entirely on Akin, a child born of the union (sort of) between Lilith and an alien. The third book also focuses entirely on a human/alien child (sort of) named Jodahs, but this time in first person. What this change of focus accomplishes is amazing; it draws the reader closer into the aliens' culture and motivations just as the characters are drawn in closer. I didn't actively notice this while I was reading, but after thinking about what I had read, I realized it. I like that very much.
Very detailed, and incredibly realistic. And left rather open-ended, which is a good thing as far as this series is concerned. It's grand enough to be left open and still not leave the reader aching for more.
One thing I don't like, though. "Lilith's Brood" as a title makes no sense. Lilith is a background character after the first book. The original name was "XenoGenesis", and I find it much more appropriate. But that's not the author's fault, I'm sure.
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on February 20, 2001
I am not a fan of Science Fiction - but "Lilith's Brood" (the collection of 3 novels known as the Xegenosis series consisting of "Dawn", "Adulthood Rites" and "Imago") is among the best I have read in ANY genre. Butler brings a species that is totally beyond anything imagined before and makes them real to the reader. She sttracts you to them, repels you from them - and in the end, makes you love them even though you may not want to. I actually felt like I missed the alien species, known as the Oankali when I finished reading the books. Basic premise for those considering the book: An alien species, the Oankali, finds an Earth shaken by major war. Most everything is wiped out and the Earth is practically unsalvagable. They save almost all the humans they find and make a plan to restore parts of the Earth and make them hospitable for human life again - for a price. The novels are wonderfully believable and complex, using challenging vocabulary and fully engrossing the reader in rich imagery and postulations of "What if... ?". No words other than those Bulter uses can do this collection justice - I would recommend it to anyone with a love for literature or anyone that just loves an EXCELLENT story that makes you feel like, and even possibly wish you were there.
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on May 25, 2000
Lilith's Brood, a trilogy set in Earth's distant future, concerns the few remaining humans and their extraterrestial conquerors. Faced with the unpleasant alternatives of extinction or interspecies breeding, the human characters struggle to preserve their cultural and biological heritage against the seemingly insurmountable obstacles set by their keepers. The parallels between their fight to maintain cultural identity and the growing pains facing America's multicultural population in the 21st century are striking. This is the "melting pot" gone one better. Perhaps this is Butler's most biting social satire; surely it is her most thoughtful work since Kindred. As in most of her fiction, Butler is fascinated by the ways society evolves and survives despite our self-destructive impulses. Although this "new" offering from Butler is a collection of three previously published novels, the omnibus format will draw new readers and remind old friends of her substantial powers.
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on December 11, 2000
One of the best sci fi books I've read in quite awhile (and I read a lot of them). The complexity and believability of the story make it fantastic. Butler also succeeds at creating a new species and actually showing us our world and society through their eyes, quite a feat to do well. She also creates a diverse atmosphere of all kinds of people (different backgrounds, races, languages) coming together under adversity. The struggles that the humans in the story have with accepting ideas and concepts completely outside of their experiences makes for very thoughtful reading. This book (actually 3) makes for very interesing exciting reading (I couldn't put it down) combined with lots of thought provoking material.
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on December 30, 2001
Wild Seed must be the continuation of Lilith's Brood (Now that was an excellent book). No matter, this is an intense, realistic, great story. As one reader stated in her review, the story made you dream about it while you are sleeping. Everthing was so vivid.
The last story Imago was the most interested one in the series, however, the other two in the series were just as wonderful. I so much enjoyed reading this book it was in my hand every chance my Boyfriend would let me have.
Sorry Anne no more vampires for me I want to grow up to be an Ooloi.
My advice, don't stop reading just because the stories are over read the author's note in the back of the book.
Enjoy, I did!
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on November 8, 2000
This book may have been a previous compilation several years ago but it is new to me. I have read Ms. Butler's books before and she is a deep and refreshing change from the usual brightly-colored, shallow books trying to pass for literature that is directed at today's Black reading market. Ms. Butler, if you read your reviews on this website, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart to show us what real writing and real storytelling is supposed to be like--nourishing food for the mind and soul. I hope someone will make your books into movies for the big screen soon.
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on August 23, 2001
The books in this compilation were the first books I read by this author but certainly not the last. Ms. Butler does a wonderful job of making the reader feel what her characters feel and beautifully describes the complex feelings that the two races, human and oankali, have for each other. Ideas that start out as unplatable to the reader as to the characters become with time, acceptable and even desirable, as surely the author intended. I just finished the last book in the trilogy, "Imago" and I'm sitting here wishing there was more.
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on July 16, 2001
I won't repeat a summary of the story because it has already been done well. However, I will tell you my experience in reading this "book". One night I decided to read a couple of pages while I was in the bath tube. When I looked up, it was 3!! hours later and the water was ice cold and I hadn't noticed. Also, her characters took on such life for me that they kept showing up in my dreams, even after I was done reading the book. If you want to read a book that will transport you into the story, this is a book you don't want to miss.
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