After I finished Dawn I knew I had to continue the trilogy. The world that Butler built in for this story is full of complicated, rich characters, both human an alien. Xenogenesis explores the union or fusion of these two groups through the main character Akin, the first human-Oankali male construct. Butler continues to explore human nature, a contradiction in itself, this time seen from the eyes of someone that is not fully human, nor fully alien.
Butler touches so many subject in such a swift, seamless manner that you don't realize you are thinking about social issues until you put the book (or headphones in my case) down and have this feeling of "wow"
Lillith takes a secondary role in this installment; as I mentioned it is Akin who takes center stage trying to merge the two points of view: a very guttural, visceral one coming from his human side and partners, and a more logical, cold one from this Oankali side. He represents, to me at least, the struggles a lot of immigrant kids have during their life time, Of course, Akin's struggle and his definitions will affect the future of what is left from humanity and the future of the trade.
Racism is also a constant subject so far in this trilogy; while Dawn dealt a bit more with sexism, in this case I felt this point was left aside, but not ignored. The rage against Lillith, the prejudices against her and whatever might come through her is still present, not only with those who actually met her, but her "legend" has grown, to a point that there is even talk of her being possessed. That said most of the women present in the rebel camps are delegated to secondary roles all the time and most of the men turn to "macho" behavior.
Seeing Akin grow, not only physically but in his mind was so interesting. The approach of him being a teenager in both communities puts him in multiple situations where he was feeling frustrated and has to learn not only to be an adult but to express as one and be able to share and convince his piers of the changes he is bringing.
I think that doing this trilogy in audio has given me the opportunity to identify the different Oankalis better and to sort of pin point their personalities; I've read several reviews mentioning that it is hard to differentiate between them.
From a biologist point of view I think the concept of trade, the way the Oankali see it, is fascinating. The concept is mostly explained on the first book, but is always present during Adulthood Rites.
I would totally recommend this series so far to anyone who loves SciFi and society construction. (less)
So many people around me read and love the book! So I figure I should try it and see what the fuss was about. As it turns out I enjoyed the book quite a lot. This is not a book about zombies per se, but more about the effect the zombies turning up on a lot of levels, including politics, economics and even religion. The zombies make a bit of an apparition on people's memories, but is not scene after scene of people running from them, which would've killed the book for me.
The concept of the book was very interesting. From the beginning we are put in the context, that is would be the "human" side of an after war report. Everything that didn't make it into the official, everything with too many feelings involved, would be the base of this book.
We start with the apparition of the Patient Zero in China, told from the point of view of the doctor that first confronts it. From there on we jump to different countries and different people that managed to survive the war. Soldiers that hated being part of what the war become; kids that are now grown ups and that survived thanks to their parents difficult decisions; regular people that even realized the moment to flee had passed under their noses and were then forced to use all the knowledge they gathered into practice; politicians deciding who survives and who doesn't; movie directors that deliver the films that helped with the morale.
The way the interviews are portrayed really delivers the feeling of the "oral history", of a documentary if you want. It also makes it that you can read tiny bits of the book here and there and without a direct thread you get to build a full image of what was going one globally. Extra points for it not been US only, something that bothers me often with dystopias, but that is another topic completely.
But, and I am afraid this is the reason why I cannot give a 5 to this book, there is no science approach at no point. Every couple of pages you would have someone referring to how weird the physiology or biology of the zombies was: they can survive being frozen; they can resist high pressure under water; how do they do that??? So naturally I though a bit of light on this item was going to be discussed maybe at the end of the book. I don't mean a full item on the zombie inner workings, no, no because then it could've ended up on ridiculous "fake science". But I didn't get anything of it. None. Zero. That would've given it a full 5. Just a bit of an explanation or speculation even.
That said, it was a very fun read, gave me what I was expecting from it and it easy to recommend to anyone looking for a different take on the zombie trope.(less)
I bought this book one day when I found myself without a book (I know, the horror) but it took me a while to re start it. I have only read 5 books from the Vampire Chronicles (the first 4 and then Merrick without knowing it made part of the same series) but in general I've liked Rice's style so I figure, why not. The truth is, as I finished this book I was left with a disappointing feeling. I enjoyed the idea of using music (such beautiful music) but I never managed to really get into this story.
It is the first time I read a book by Anne Rice that does not involve vampires. In here the supernatural is represented by the tortured ghost of a violinist, Stefan. He has come to the main protagonist, Triana, when she is in great pain due to the lost of her husband; pain that awaken other loses in her head and heart.
The description of the book talks about Triana as "a uniquely fascinating woman" but she felt rather bland to me as a character and so did her sisters. And Stefan...besides being mean, supposedly due to the fact of him being a tortured soul, for me he didn't feel that much interesting either.
The best parts of the book, for me at any rate, were the several references to beautiful pieces of music as well as the moment where the ghost of Beethoven was present. That said, I don't know if someone with less love for classical music would have the same reflex I had to look for each piece and listen to them while reading. I feel that if it is not the case, the references and momentum of certain scenes are completely lost.
While The Vampire Chronicles are not terrifying I certainly agree with them being considered as part of the horror genre. In this case, if you remove the fact that Stefan is an angry ghost, it doesn't really feel scary at all. It has a good pace and at no point did it feel like a heavy read, I would say it was mostly entertaining.
Unless you are very adept to Rice's style I wouldn't be able to recommend this book to you. (less)