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Adulthood Rites

(Xenogenesis #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  11,236 ratings  ·  737 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, 277 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Aspect (first published June 1988)
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Mel I think that despite the fact that they have no way of knowing if the humans will repeat their mistakes or be able to eliminate their problematic…moreI think that despite the fact that they have no way of knowing if the humans will repeat their mistakes or be able to eliminate their problematic gene's through mating, to me it seemed like she was saying that no group or species has the right to make that decision. It must be something earned by humans, or they destroy themselves, but it is no one else's choice to make. - That was my take on it, even though they already had that chance once, perhaps that would be enough to show them the severity of the problem.

I suppose I'll see in the next book!(less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  11,236 ratings  ·  737 reviews


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Apatt
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 last humans/>Adulthood
...more
Beverly
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stuart
Adulthood Rites: A human-Oankali child is torn between two species
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Adulthood Rites (1988) is the second book in Octavia Butler’s XENOGENESIS trilogy. It continues the story of Lilith in Dawn (1987), a human woman revived by the alien Oankali centuries after humanity has mostly destroyed itself with nuclear weapons. The Oankali offered humanity a second chance, but at a price — to merge its genes with the Oankali, who are ‘gene traders’ driven to continuously seek new s
...more
Bradley
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, 2019-shelf
Impressive. I definitely liked this second story in the trilogy better than the first. The other was very much a foundation, but while we really don't follow Lillith from the first, we do follow her hybrid son as he makes his way through an early difficult childhood and into his Adulthood Rite.

Akim is a victim as much as he is a bridge between the ignorant and dispirited humans brought down to Earth and the aliens who misunderstand our humanity. We're a paradox of hierarchical madnes
...more
Res
Jul 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff
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
...more
Claudia
The story continues few years after the events in Dawn . Earth is habitable again, the Oankali allowed humans to live ‘free’ (they are called resisters) or with them in the Amazonian jungle. ‘Free’ is not just what is should be; all humans have been sterilized and they can only procreate with Oankali involvement, so homo sapiens is heading for extinction. First ‘construct’ - mixed race - children are born; some of the resisters love them, others are afraid of them, others feel revulsion. One thing ...more
Obsidian
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the second book in the Xenogenesis series a lot. There were some problems with the fact that I thought the character Akin did a total change that didn't seem reasonable after seeing how the Resisters acted. His thought process that if only the Resisters were granted total freedom would lead them to be better than their overall nature I thought was naive based on what he witnessed and even based on what occurred in book #1.

In "Dawn" the main character was told from Lilith Iyap
...more
Gergana
Would this really have happened to us? If someone pressed the "reset" button on our planet, would humanity go back to pillaging, raping and kidnapping to ensure the survival of their own village or simply for the satisfaction of our basic needs? I find it hard to believe, maybe because I don't want to.

According to the alien species in this book, as humans we are deeply hierarchical, we follow or we want to be followed, which is the main reason for the majority of our wars and atrocit
...more
Megan Baxter
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book starts years after the first one, as the humans and Oankali are established on Earth, and have been giving birth to Oankali/human construct children for quite a while now. I maybe missed the explanation of why they're called constructs, because aren't all children through the mediating influence of an Oankali ooloi (their third sex, masters of genemixing) constructed, whether part human or not? I mean, isn't that what makes the Oankali what they are?

Note: The rest of this r
...more
Zanna
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stem, bechdel-pass
Somewhere between the particular texture of the writing and the thought-sparking brilliance of the ideas, Octavia Butler's work never fails to hook me in so far I never want to leave. Like Dawn, this novel had me rambling on to friends and family about Lilith and her relationships, the Oankali and their culture.

One of my friends, when I described how the Oankali feel pain when they cause it, and feel pleasure when they cause it, picked up on the theme that recurs throughout all Octav
...more
Mimi
Adulthood Rites takes 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.

The story follows 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 since Akin is much mor
...more
David
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to David by: Michael
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the second of three novels in the Xenogenesis series by Octavia Butler. It is a fine example of a well-thought-out and executed sci-fi concept. It held my attention from beginning to end.

The main character from the first book, Lillith, may be the only human on Earth who is fertile. She has a child, Akin. However, Akin is not an ordinary human, as he is the child of five individuals; a male and female human, a male and female Oankali, and a third sex Oankali known as an "ooloi
...more
Lois
This is every bit as good as I remember. This book picks up decades after Dawn and features the first human-born male Construct. I loved Akin and his adventures. He's right about a human Akjai. We probably will destroy it but we deserve the chance. Personally I wouldn't go but I'd be more peaceful knowing humanity was continuing unaltered somewhere far away from my descendants.
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
God, these books are so incredibly good!!! I haven't enjoyed a story this much for a long time. Although I have to admit, the humans in this particular one are a solid pile of turds. Like you almost don't want them to survive as a species! Anyway, I can't wait to see how this story ends.
Lilia Ford
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5

With this volume, I thought Xenogenesis moved sharply in a more "speculative" direction. It had its interest, certainly, but the structure and narration consistently pulled the novel away from the more dramatic energies in the storytelling, towards the more conceptual. None of this was helped by having the main character and narrative POV, Akin, be an infant for roughly the first half--also those parts of the story that were most traditionally action-packed and "human" oriented. A
...more
Michael
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Michael by: Apatt
This is a brilliant and mind-blowing apocalyptic tale published in 1988. Instead of a cataclysm like an epidemic or a meteor strike, the event that threatens human existence is a very unusual form of invasion by beneficent aliens after we have nearly done ourselves in.

Human warfare and devastation of the Earth nearly wiped out the species, and a superior starfaring race of aliens, the Oankali, have stepped in and preserved the human race. They keep enough in suspension on their ship
...more
Carolyn
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
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 earth ...more
Elizabeth
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
An intriguing continuation to the story started in Dawn. Though I was content with Dawn as a self-contained story it was fascinating to see how Butler expanded all of the concepts she'd put forward and looked at how different and mixed species would continue to interact over time. I enjoy Butler's quiet, meditative prose and her nuanced development of characters. The only major flaw was that this book really does feel incomplete - you really are going to have to read the next one to find out wha ...more
Jeanne
“That won’t do him much good with some Humans. They’ll resent him for not being completely Human and for looking more Human than their kids. They’ll hate him for looking much younger than he sounds. They’ll hate him because they haven’t been allowed to have sons. Your people have made Human-looking male babies a very valuable commodity.” (p. 258)

Adulthood Rites is the second book in Octavia Butler's Lilith's Brood Xenogenesis Trilogy. In short, Humans go to war, killing Earth and its inhabitants. A new, more a/>Adulthood
...more
Michael
The sequel to Dawn starts up 20 years later, and continues prodding and poking at the ethical questions in new and interesting ways. I would compare the two books by saying Dawn was more of a theoretical experiment, whereas Adulthood Rites is the real thing. Trigger warnings for those who love children: (view spoiler). And for those who love adults: (view spoiler) ...more
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
...more
Elizabeth
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 d
...more
Valerie
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
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 overst
...more
Renee
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 wo
...more
Maggie K
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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...
...more
Bogi Takács
Interesting how this is so much more of a coming of age book than the first one, even though usually trilogies *begin* with that type of story arc. But I'll save my thoughts for the review, coming soon IY"H. :)

Interesting how on my first reads, the first book hit me the hardest, but now I feel like this one has just as much depth, only differently presented. On to the third...
_____
Source of the book: Bought with my own money
Britta Böhler
Not quite as good as the first book & I would have liked to know more about Lilith (I got rather attached to her during the first book).
Melissa
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2017
The second installment went in such a different direction than I anticipated, and was even better for the shift. Instead of starting right where we left off after the first book, we skipped ahead to join Lilith and her family, as well as the human resisters, a little further along. And we get to see both groups from a new perspective...that if their blended children.... the only ones who really understand both sides of this "trade".
Pearl
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading these books has been an enjoyable experience! This second one shifts from "Dawn's" main protagonist, Lilith's view to Akin, her son and it illuminates and expands more on the dynamics between the aliens, humans and the new generation that is growing from the uneasy merging between the two societies.

Octavia Butler managed to make me care about certain characters and the
...more
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Vegan Book Club: Discussion Questions 3 3 Oct 02, 2019 09:33AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2) 3 16 Dec 19, 2018 05:30PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Adulthood Rites by Octavia Butler 35 75 Aug 10, 2017 05:16PM  
Science Fiction A...: Xenogenesis 2: Adulthood Rites by Octavia Butler 18 42 Oct 10, 2014 12:41PM  

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7,199 followers
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.

Other books in the series

Xenogenesis (3 books)
  • Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1)
  • Imago (Xenogenesis, #3)
“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.” 16 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” 8 likes
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