Res's Reviews > Imago

Imago by Octavia E. Butler
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Aug 08, 11

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Read from July 15 to August 08, 2011

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; sibling incest and sex with sentient non-humans just don't horrify me, at least fictionally, and so from the very start I'm in sympathy with those who choose to mix with the oankali.

It was nice to find out the reasons behind some things we'd seen from the very first book (why the oankali tentacles bunch up when they're unhappy, what on earth they think they're doing when they ignore what humans say and give them what they "really" want).

On the down side: still very heterocentric, still taking women's second-class status as a product of nature rather than culture.

Why is the 'h' in Jodahs' name? What effect does that have on pronunciation? Is it just so the similarity to Judas can creep up on us more slowly?
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