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Imago (Xenogenesis, #3)
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Imago (Xenogenesis #3)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  6,127 Ratings  ·  373 Reviews
The futures of both humans and Oankali rest in one young being's successful metamorphosis into adulthood.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Aspect (first published 1989)
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Oct 27, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The last volume of the mind blowing, thought provoking Lilith’s Brood series (I prefer the original name Xenogenesis myself, it has a nice sci-fi ring to it).

Jodahs the protagonist of this book is another offspring of Lilith Iyapo. The least human of the series' central characters, especially after its first metamorphosis. As Jodahs is neither male or female, and certainly not a hermaphrodite, the pronoun it is the only appropriate one for referring to characters of the “ooloi” gender; he third
WOW! What a perfect end to this great series! Definitely the strongest book in my opinion.

Will I recommend the series? Only to a certain extant. It's a heavy read, not because of the style or the descriptions, but because of the existential questions you are constantly being bombarded with. It's a world where you can't even decide what's truly wrong or what's truly right, it can be quite infuriating if you try to pick sides.
Basically, if you like dystopian books with "peaceful, well-meaning" a
Apr 02, 2016 Stuart rated it really liked it
Imago: Finally, we see the Ooloi perspective
Originally published at Fantasy Literature
Imago (1988) is the third book in Octavia Butler’s XENOGENESIS trilogy. It concludes the story begun with the human woman Lilith in Dawn (1987) and continued with her Oankali-human ‘construct’ son Akin in Adulthood Rites (1988). Imago takes the bold but logical next step by shifting the perspective to Jodahs, an Ooloi-human construct. The Ooloi are the third, gender-less sex of the Oankali, the alien race of ‘g
Jul 24, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
Recommended to David by: Michael
Shelves: science-fiction
In an nuclear apocalypse, humans have virtually wiped out life on Earth. From the aliens' point of view, their rescue of humans and repopulation of Earth is for their own good. Without cross-breeding with humans, and blending their DNA with that of humans, the human race is on a direct course for extinction. Human predilection for forming hierarchical societies is the basis for human self-destruction.

But the aliens have their own survival in mind, also. Their motivation is not entirely altruisti
Maggie K
Oct 15, 2014 Maggie K rated it really liked it
hmmmm....somehow, I am suspicious of being manipulated into liking this book.

This last installment of Butler's trilogy has us seeing the inside view of the ooloi, the 'third sex' of the aliens that have taken over Earth. Ooloi operate by using their pheromones and sensory arms to calm and pleasure humans. Once this happens to you, you decide you like them and literally cannot live with out them.

What we don't know is how bad they NEED humans. If they don't have human contact, they literally go in
Apr 23, 2015 Mimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The oankali have three sexes: female, male, and ooloi. The ooloi is a crucial part of the reproduction process as it controls and manipulates genes and is responsible for the gene trade. Up until now in the story, there have only been male andfemale construct children. The creation of a construct ooloi has only been discussed, but not yet attempted until now.

Imago tells the story of Jodahs, the first ooloi construct. This book ties the previous two together seamlessly by showing what Jodahs is
Jul 21, 2014 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
In "Dawn," Lilith wants a choice, and it is denied to her at every opportunity. She has to live with that, and we as readers have to decide if her captivity is morally acceptable. We are as human as she, and we share her conflict.

In "Adulthood Rites," Akin wants a chance and has to fight to allow that Human part of him its expression, its freedom. Akin is a construct, and while we obviously side with him, we are given a deeper understanding of the Oankali morality.

In "Imago," Jodahs wants a chal
Aug 08, 2011 Res rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff
The one where Jodahs, the first ooloi born of both human and oankali genes, achieves adulthood and finds a family.

This is the most optimistic of the three books, though pointed references to the effects of ooloi scent on human reason make it clear that the author doesn't want us to be able to rest comfortably with the idea that these relationships are entirely consensual.

It would have been interesting to read books that revolved around breaking taboos that had more visceral meaning to me; sibli
Spider the Doof Warrior
Aug 22, 2015 Spider the Doof Warrior rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-love-this-book
Reading this book again because it is my favourite in the series. This sounds crazy but an ooloi human construct is one fictional thing I'd like to be! It would be so awesome to be a third sex that can heal and learn so much about organisms!!!!

August 2015

This book is still good but I notice some of the ableism more. Still, I want to be an ooloi human construct. It's really the best book in the series, to look at the perspective of such a fascinating and alien being who can shapeshift and seduces
Nov 16, 2016 Obsidian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this is the last in the Xenogenesis or Lilth's Brood series written by Octavia E. Butler.

I liked this one a lot. We once again focus on just one POV throughout the entire novel. We have Lilth's son Jodahs who is born an Oankali construct (humans and Oankali breed with the help of an Oankali called ooloi) and every child born has 5 parents. The ooloi, a sexless subspecies capable of manipulating DNA and without them no one would be able to have children. Jodahs starts to metamorphosis and real
Mar 15, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it
Octavia E. Butler is an amazing writer. It doesn't matter whether or not I like the story she has written, when I'm reading it I'm not reading a book, I'm there in her world, totally transported. Imago is no exception. This is the third and final book in the Xenogenesis series (a.k.a. Lilith's Brood). There are a lot of very complicated relationships in this which are explained fully in previous books. I have to admit that I got a bit bogged down in them as they were re-explained at the beginnin ...more
Megan Baxter
Feb 25, 2015 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it
Part of the issue is how complex and disturbing these books are. So much of my reaction is a vague uneasiness, and trying to sit down and pull that out and see why is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Of the three in the trilogy, I think Adulthood Rites was my favourite - but is that because it's the most familiar, the most, shall we say, human?

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision
In this final book of the Xenogenesis trilogy, the focus shifts again, this time to another of Lilith's sons, Jodahs, who turns out to be the first human-born ooloi (the third Oankali gender). He is considered a mistake by the Oankali and must struggle to find mates and carve a place for himself in the world.

This is the only book told in first person which makes it more intimate but I never connected with Jodahs as I did with Akin in Adulthood Rites. I was also disappointed that we see nothing o
One of the disadvantges of an eBook, sometimes you turn the page and suddenly see "The End". No visceral warning that there are only a few pages left. Yeah, I know there is the percentage thing across the bottom, but with a good book you're really into, you don't pay attention to that.

And so I cuddled into the blankets, turned the page ready to see what was next, and nothing. The end. I'm dissappointed, not in an unfinished story, but that it's time to leave such a well crafted universe. I want
I loved this series! I'm going to miss these characters.
Dec 31, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
This was a solid 4 star trilogy that I really enjoyed.
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
Octavia Butler is a genius. She is a master of story telling and a master world builder. I admire her style, the simplicity of her writing and the various intricately woven meanings in her stories.
This last book though. I think that I'd had my fill of the issue of cross species mating in the first two books such that in this last book... well it sort of spilled over but not in a nice enjoyable way.
The overwhelming message/concern/point/question in the Xenogenesis trilogy is: are you really helpi
I’m surprised an alien race with three genders can have such heteronormative families. Even with the presence of the ooloi – who are neither man nor woman – the Oankali’s family system is geared towards reproduction. The family consists of one Oankali man, one Oankali woman, and one Oankali ooloi to mediate between the two. When humans are included into the system, they must come in a pair: male and female. I understand the reasoning: two same-sex humans can’t produce offspring on their own, ...more
Nov 08, 2013 Bibliophile rated it liked it
The aliens in this series remind me of those people who always stand too close, invading your personal space, or hug you although you've just met. You try to discreetly back away, and offer a handshake instead, but they won't take no for an answer cause they're so damn friendly and that's what matters.

The protagonist of this final book in the series, an ooloi, is like that, except worse. Like a needy boyfriend who insists on spooning when you just want to sleep without being suffocated, Jodahs
Scott Rhee
Apr 03, 2015 Scott Rhee rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
"Imago" is the third and final book in Octavia Butler's mesmerizing Xenogenesis trilogy. It is a more-than-satisfying conclusion to a fantastic science fiction series.

In this book, Jodahs, another one of Lilith Iyapo's children, undergoes metamorphosis to discover that it is transforming into an ooloi, a genderless version of the alien race known as the Oankali. It is unique among the human-Oankali hybrids and represents a completely unexpected evolutionary change.

When Jodahs encounters a group
Alan Chen
Oct 12, 2015 Alan Chen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Jodah is undergoing metamorphosis, and instead of being male or female he becomes an ooloi, the third sex. It's too early for the constructs, human and alien mix species to develop the third sex and people are concerned that it will damage the delicate ecology for ooloi are not just able to see genetic material but alter it. Lilith and her family decide to leave their home Lo so that Jodah can go through metamorphosis without harming anyone. This volume delves deeper into the alien part of the ...more
May 15, 2008 Shane rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, read-in-2008
This is the last in the trilogy and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed it didn't have a more 'definite' ending. I was really hoping for a epilogue, a kind of and then they left earth and sailed off into the wild blue yonder but instead it ended as if there could be another book written very similar to this one (and the 2nd book).

It is kind of strange that she picked new characters as main characters for this book and then just had some cameos of the old characters. It makes it seem much like a
Oct 29, 2014 Alexa rated it really liked it
Shelves: fab-14
And finally, as almost an epilogue to the trilogy of her dark vision of the inevitable destruction of humanity, Butler gives us a sweet little love story! She manages to take the incredibly dark future she has painted and give it a tiny seed of hope. So, there might be a chance for a few tiny handfuls of us! I thought the whole question of sexual orientation was delightfully explored.
Oct 05, 2016 Carbaes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me he quedado con muchas ganas de más...
Joshua Burns
May 24, 2012 Joshua Burns rated it really liked it
Once again, the tagline manages to irritate. No, this book does not deal with any fate of the universe type questions. Rather this may be the most personal of the three Xenogenesis narratives. It is from the first person after all.

Do you remember the suicides that happened after the Avatar movie was released? People killing themselves because they realized how bound and disturbed a world we had? Well, Butler's series starts to instigate those feelings. While reading, I no longer felt connected
Feb 20, 2016 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, aliens, 1980s
The last book of the trilogy is from the viewpoint of Jodahs, another child of Lilith that is becoming the first ooloi construct, which is completely unplanned.

As a quick reminder, ooloi are the sexless Oankali that serve as a go-between for males and females during mating, and it also can heal and create life (to an extent).

It's thought that sending Jodahs back to the ship, where other ooloi can closely watch over him, is the best option. Considering that ooloi have tremendous abilities to chan
Aug 07, 2016 Dan rated it liked it
Spoiler Alert. The following is a metaphorical plot summary of Octavia Butler’s Imago.

The scene is a meet-up night club. A and B are strangers to one another. A sneaks up behind B and whispers.

A: If I don’t have sex with you, I’ll die.

B whirls around and faces him angrily.

B: You are disgusting! Get away from me!
A: Oh, don’t be like that. Here, let me just touch you like this.

B screams.

B: Get your limbs off me! I told you you disgust me! Go away!
A: If you would just be still and let me finish
Jan 14, 2008 Jillian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
So after reading this series, I've gotten to thinking, What Would Jillian Do?

Given the choice between (1) shunning the aliens and living in an all-Human colony which is doomed to fail or (2) mating with said aliens, which would result in mixed-species children, with some remnants of human genetics but are not recognizable as such... which would I choose?

The difference between this book and reality (besides the aliens I guess) is that in the book it's more or less certain that humans are doomed t
Mar 09, 2011 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, let me try and review this without giving everything away.

The entire trilogy - good or bad - really had me sucked in. I was dreaming about Oankali, when I was awake, I was thinking about them. Wishing I knew someone equally strange enough to talk to about these books and the many layered themes.

It always amazes me when such a book is written. When someone (Butler), takes themes central to humanity and manages to turn it into science fiction. In one respect, we can choose to dismiss her ent
What happens when you awake to find that most of humanity has been destroyed by a nuclear war that it caused. Not only that, but you and the remaining humans owe their existence to an alien race called the Oankali. How would you feel if the price of your salvation is for you and the remaining humans to be breed with these very aliens to establish a new species in what they call the 'Trade'.

This is the dilemma that Lilith (one of the surviving humans) finds herself in. As we follow Lilith's new
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Science Fiction A...: Xenogenesis 3 - Imago 9 34 Dec 21, 2014 09:05AM  
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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)
  • Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2)

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“Listen, no part of me is more definitive of who I am than my brain.” 4 likes
“Humans said one thing with their bodies and another with their mouths and everyone had to spend time and energy figuring out what they really meant.” 4 likes
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