SF Reviews background image SF Reviews logo image
Contact SF Reviews   |   Get the Newsletter 

Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1987 by Octavia E. Butler

In Association with Amazon.com In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this in 1990 and most recently on the 20th October 2004

This is the first of the Xenogenesis series.

When Lilith Iyapo wakes up she finds herself trapped in a windowless, doorless cubicle.

In this cell, that is how she always wakes up. Next she'll here the voice of her gaoler but she never sees him. She doesn't know how long she's been here. The voice doesn't tell her that. The voice is simply intent, patiently intent on her interrogation. If she doesn't cooperate, the voice is silent until she does.

However, at last this time it will be different. This time she'll see her captors, and know who they are. She'll find out why she is here, and that she is not on Earth. She'll learn out what they want and why they will send her back to Earth, a ruined Earth, an Earth bereft of humankind.

That's assuming that she can handle actually seeing her captors, and can learn to live in their presence.

Octavia Butler is a very good writer and this is a good book. It's thrilling and it's thought-provoking. You wonder what the aliens really want and will it be worth the cost. There's complex interplay between Lilith, the aliens and the other humans. When you think you're think you're getting to grips with how the aliens think, she reveals another twist to their outlook and you know you haven't quite got it. The humans are more simple, and more predictably violent.

All in all this was surprisingly good.

Loaded on the 14th August 2005.
Cover of Dawn
Cover art by George Underwood

Reviews of other works by Octavia E. Butler:
Mind Of My Mind
Wild Seed
Adulthood Rites

Reviews of other works with covers by George Underwood:
Dagger Of The Mind
Code Of The Lifemaker