Lindsay Stares's Reviews > Dawn

Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
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Mar 21, 11

bookshelves: own-on-kindle
Read in February, 2011

Dawn is a brilliant, moving book. I realized that I had never read anything by Octavia Butler - one of the few highly successful African-American women writers of Science Fiction - so I set out to remedy that. I'm very glad that I did.

Lilith is a strong, complex character, and the reader sees the plot unfold entirely from her perspective. Her struggles - within herself, with the Oankali, with other humans - prove her to be smart, adaptable, human and fallible. How her personal convictions grow and shift while she learns more about her situation make up the greatest part of the drama.

It won't be giving much away to tell you that Lilith and the other survivors have been taken on board an alien spacecraft. The aliens are keeping most of the humans suspended or separated while they learn about them and repair the damaged Earth. The alien-ness of the Oankali is wonderfully done. They can act human, and are bipedal, but every time Lilith thinks she understands, something new is revealed. I am always intrigued by a truly alien race, and few authors do a good job with them.

Dawn deals with human sexuality and relationships in an intriguing, dark, adult manner, without being in almost any sense a “romance”. The complexity and ambivalence of this book was fascinating to me. I absolutely loved it

I will definitely be seeking out the sequels to this.

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