Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2)” as Want to Read:
Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis #2)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  4,246 ratings  ·  200 reviews
In this sequel to Dawn, Lilith Iyapo has given birth to what looks like a normal human boy named Akin. But Akin actually has five parents: a male and female human, a male and female Oankali, and a sexless Ooloi. The Oankali and Ooloi are part of an alien race that rescued humanity from a devastating nuclear war, but the price they exact is a high one the aliens are compell ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 1989 by Gollancz (first published 1988)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I find it oddly difficult to review an Octavia Butler book without filling it to the brim with cringe inducing sentimentality and hyperbole but I'll be damned if she doesn't make me all pensive and a touch maudlin every time I read her books. I get this feeling that her kindness and compassion always seep through her books and it makes me feel a little wistful that she is no longer with us.

Adulthood Rites is the second volume of the Lilith's Brood trilogy. In a nutshell it is the story of the la
Adulthood Ritestakes place several years after Dawn and shows life on new Earth as both humans and oankali have resettled some of the land and formed villages.

Thestoryfollows one of Lilith's sons, Akin, a human-oankali construct, as he grows to maturity. Akin is the first construct to be born to a human mother, and because he looks more human on the outside, he's easily accepted by other humans who have chosen to reject the oankali and the gene trade (from Dawn). Looks are deceiving though sinc
Sequel to Dawn. The one where Akin, a human-looking child with a mix of human and oankali genes, is kidnapped and grows up among villages of human resisters.

This sequel focuses on the feelings of the humans who have chosen not to mix with or cooperate with the oankali, and so it's not surprising that its view of humanity is depressing as hell.

This re-read I noticed something that hadn't struck me the first time: The oankali don't have stories -- don't seem to understand why anyone would want th
Adulthood Rites is the second volume of the Lilith's Brood trilogy. In the previous novel an alien species the Oankali rescued the last remaining humans after they had destroyed the Earth with war and pollution. The Oankali are a race who 'trade' genes with other species through matings involving a male and female of each species and a sexless being called an Ooloi who can select which genes to mix together to form a being with desired traits of both species. The Oankali have generated parts of ...more
As with the first book in this series, Butler creates a world that is both alien and familiar. Akin, the hero of the story, has a human mother and an Oankali father which makes him able to sympathize with both cultures. Unfortunately, he is too human to live among the aliens, but too alien to feel comfortable with the humans.

This book is compelling, but difficult to understand if you have not read the first book in the series. The names alone are a challenge. However, it is worth the effort. But
Maggie K
The second book in Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy, Adulthood Rites visits with one of Lilith's children, Akin, the first human born male of the great genetic-trade experiment.

This book explores the issues raised in the first book regarding human right of reproduction: Just because humans are genetically doomed to render themselves extinct, does this make allowing them to reproduce moral or immoral?

Throughout the book, we see different scenes favoring both stances...

Philosophical themes can sometim
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
I wavered between three and four stars for this one. I eventually decided on four because despite my annoyance with the constant talk of mating and the sexual function of the Oankali, I deeply admire the very fluid and ingenious way that Butler introduces her central issues and messages.
Much like Dawn, the first book in this series, we have been presented with moral and ethical dilemmas that do not have easy answers.
The Oankali have saved Earth and the few remaining inhabitants from a man made d
What a sad, bleak and depressing continuation. And, yet, I cannot stop reading.

Seriously, could humanity get any worse? I love how Butler can take humans and expose their weaknesses so well. How utterly stupid, pointless, and unself-aware (is that a word?) do we (humans) look in this book? Really, it is saddening to think about. At first, as any person, I would deny that humans would act the way the resisters act in this book, and yet, the truthful part of me knows! I know, humans would act exac
This is the second of the Xenogenesis trilogy. Although each book could in theory be read alone, I cannot see anyone really understanding all of the issues and complexities without reading them all in sequence. As with the first book, this one leaves significant issues unresolved.

The problematic nature of the "deal" offered by the Oankali to the Humans becomes increasingly clear in this book, the story of Akin, the first male Human-Oankali construct born on Earth. This book further develops idea
i would like to review this book here for you all but i can't, because GR is bullying everyone, taking away our right to be, and showing itself to be profoundly ungrateful to people who have provided content here for years for free, and my buddy octavia, may her lovely soul rest in peace, would most definitely be against bullying and ungraciousness. so i'll tell you a story instead.

the author of Donald Davidson, philosopher Simon Evnine, used to live in west l.a. and when he lived there he had t
This is my first experience reading an Octaia Butler book. About halfway through, I realized I was reading a deeply personal statement of self-understanding and place in the world expressed in a unique and distinctive creative format.

I felt a kinship with this woman who knew she was different and not just on the outside. And, she knew the difference was scary to most people. She was smart. She asked questions. She wanted to do good in the world. Like the main character in this book, Akin, she mi
Fun Fact: LeVar Burton says Octavia Butler is his favorite author.

That man has been telling me what book I should read next for 20 years. He has never been wrong.

Adulthood Rites didn't grab me as immediately as Dawn, probably because it was a lot harder for me to relate to Akin than to Lilith. However, the story is thicker and even more layered than its predecessor. It has themes of puberty, kinship, and the (in this case literal) story of the Phoenix, but it never oversteps itself. I read an in
This book did not suffer much from being the middle of the series. After being somewhat disappointed that the main plot line no longer followed Lilith, as this book takes place 30 years later, but rather her son Akin, the first human born construct, I found this book to be filled with fast paced, page turning, fun. This book is very different in theme and in scope as it sets its focus on Akin. I really enjoyed where Octavia Butler took the series here but strangely found myself feeling a little ...more
Adding child abuse to the heteronormativity (and gender essentialism) and horrific non-consensual acts of violence and manipulation (all of which are treated with a matter-of-factness that sickens me) doesn't make this any more palatable than Dawn.

There's something compelling about the story, though, so I expect I'll finish the trilogy. I just won't feel good about it.
While I read "Dawn" as a child, I'm unsure if I ever read the sequel "Adulthood Rites".

"Dawn" focused on Lilith, a rescued human from before the war. "Adulthood Rites" focuses on Akin, Lilith's first son, and the first boy born -- a hybrid, a construct, with a human appearance, but plenty of Oankali traits, including a tongue that acts as a sensory tentacle. The Oankali feared that the first male child would be the test as to whether the blending of Oankali and human genes is enough to overcome
I love this series! So many questions around ethics and what it means to be human. (view spoiler) ...more
I liked this second book in the series much more than the first, Dawn. The survivor groups have been settled on Earth and those that choose to leave the aliens (the Oankali) are allowed to. However, they have been genetically modified so that they are sterile. The Oankali are convinced that humanity is genetically flawed and the species will always end by destroying itself.

The resister humans try to replicate the previous civilization as much as possible with no technology. However, the enforce
Another page-turner, and an improvement over the first book as well.
Some of Dawn's issues are carried into Adulthood Rites though. The fascinating aliens and their symbiotes remain more believable than the humans. But I was able to suspend my disbelief over most of the book this time.
The alien abduction is replaced by a Bildungsroman, a tried-and-true technique to introduce an exotic setting. But there's naturally a clever twist on the narrative archetype.

Between the books, the humans have been
This second novel in the Xenogenesis trilogy is even more pessimistic than the first one, at least the way I read it. The humans Lilith awoke on the spaceship are now living on Earth with the Oankali, breeding like bunnies with the aliens. All humans are sterile, and can only reproduce with the help of the Oankali. Lilith's "construct" son Akin is kidnapped and ends up spending time with resisters, humans who refuse to go to bed with the aliens and live in primitive, childless villages. They are ...more
Joshua Burns
I kept wondering what was wrong with me as passages droned on in my ears. Was I reading too fast? Probably. Did I just want it to be over? Yes. Was there something driving the plot? This is the question I would like to turn to considering the Goodreads' blurb for this book. They describe our central character, Akin, as a world-splitter, a real seed-ruiner. Although you may hold this feeling within you for the first forty pages or so, flitting about as the book does between perspectives, by the t ...more
SF. Akin is the first Human-born male child since the Oankali returned life to Earth. Humans have broken into two groups, traders and resisters, those that accept and live with the Oankali and those that fight to keep their Humanity untouched by the aliens' genetic blending. Akin, Human-Oankali construct and son of Lilith, struggles to find his place among them.

This wasn't the sequel I expected, but I think my favorite thing about these books is that I really don't know what to expect. The story
After finishing the first book in this series, the more I thought about it, the more squicky I felt about the dubious consent issues with the aliens. ("You say no, but I know you really mean yes!")

Luckily there was less of that in this one, and I'm psyched about the turn this has made the series take, since it looks like the next book will focus on one of my favorite scifi topics. I also really enjoy learning more about the Oankali, and all the biological stuff. Less into the whole, "well, men c
Mary Frances
What a pleasure to read Octavia Butler. I am always so glad to read sci-fi and speculative fiction that differs from the space cowboy and TRR knock-offs that dominate the field. Butler writes beautifully, and she brings the perspective of a woman and person of color to a field dominated by white male writers. But her work is also not, like too many women in the field, simply transplanted romance novels dressed in glitter. She is a truly original voice and I am glad that I have finally found her. ...more
Sep 16, 2014 Levi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Levi by: LEO
Shelves: sci-fi, gender, trans, science
Dawn was so painful to read that it took me a long time to get back to the rest of the Xenogenesis series. They kept staring at me from the bookshelf, however. So eventually I picked up Adulthood Rites, and I'm glad I did.

Adulthood Rites is a complex book that works on many different levels, and I'm not going to try to touch on it all here. Morality is central to both this and Dawn, and the moral problems are intense and difficult and fascinating. They range from questions about the future of th
Chris Michel
Not the way I thought this series would go. I did not like how it jumped many years in the future from the first book. But it was a great story and you learn a lot more about the Oankali people. Also learn a lot about human nature. Or at least Butler's views of it. Makes me wonder how to stop violent people without more violence. Too used to stories with heroes vanquishing the evils and saving the day for everyone. In this story it is very unfair for surviving humanity as they were forced into h ...more
Cathy Douglas
Akin is a construct, a hybrid human/alien. He's more human-looking than most, which makes him particularly desirable to baby snatchers among the Resisters, a group of humans who refuse to cooperate with the peaceful Oankali -- aliens who see their merging with the human species as the only way to save it. He's kidnapped as a highly verbal baby, and left with the Resisters long enough to learn to see things from their point of view and become their advocate.

I enjoyed this book too much to give it
Julie Decker
Akin, Lilith's son, has both human and alien heritage. He therefore belongs to both the humans and the Oankali--a species of alien that has come to Earth to save humans from themselves while taking a price that doesn't seem worth it to some of the resisters. Oankali are an interbreeding species that evolves by trading genes with other species, and they've blended with humans to the point that even the humans who don't want any part of it don't have a choice--they can't survive on their own becau ...more
This book - this whole trilogy - is exactly what I love about science fiction. There's exploration of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, belonging, humanity, all expressed through the exploration of a scientific what-if. The first book in the trilogy is told from the point of view of Lilith, a human woman, and this book is from the point of view of her half-human, half-alien son, Akin. Akin is the first human-born male human/alien mix, and therefore contains a unique combination of alien and human ge ...more
Emily Whelchel
What I Liked
Octavia Butler is a phenomenal writer. She creates worlds and races and ideas that have never entered my mind until reading her works. The Xenogenesis series has impacted me and caused me to think about the human Contradiction. Are Butler's observations of humanity's flaws true? Can we actually continue without destroying each other as we create bigger and more lethal weapons?

Akin as a character was interesting. I found myself struggling to become absorbed in his character, as he wa
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sci Fi Aficionados: Xenogenesis 2: Adulthood Rites by Octavia Butler 18 34 Oct 10, 2014 12:41PM  
  • A Door Into Ocean
  • Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora
  • Brown Girl in the Ring
  • Blood Colony (African Immortals, #3)
  • Ammonite
  • Raising the Stones
  • The Birthday of the World and Other Stories
  • Mindscape
  • Beggars Ride (Sleepless, #3)
  • Sky Coyote (The Company, #2)
  • On a Red Station, Drifting
  • Zahrah the Windseeker
  • Rapture (Bel Dame Apocrypha, #3)
  • Futureland
  • Lion's Blood (Lion's Blood, #1)
Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.
More about Octavia E. Butler...

Other Books in the Series

Xenogenesis (3 books)
  • Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1)
  • Imago (Xenogenesis, #3)
Kindred Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1) Fledgling Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1) Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2)

Share This Book

“Nothing. It just finds you a lot more attractive than it does most Humans. What can you do with a beautiful woman that you can’t do with an ugly one? Nothing. It’s just a matter of preference.” 10 likes
“The differences you perceive between Humans—between groups of Humans—are the result of isolation and inbreeding, mutation, and adaptation to different Earth environments” 4 likes
More quotes…