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Adulthood Rites

(Xenogenesis #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  12,331 ratings  ·  828 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
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Published (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 gene…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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Apatt
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 la
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Human purpose isn't what you say it is or what I say it is. It's what your biology says it is--what your genes say it is.”

Image result for butler adulthood rites

Octavia Butler's Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis #2) continues where Dawn leaves off; however, the perspective is shifted from Lilith to her son Akin (who has been created with four other parents). When Akin is kidnapped, the focus of the story is on him growing up among humans who have resisted the Oankali's help. Can Akin convince them the time has come to accept help from
...more
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
...more
Beverly
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bradley
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-shelf, sci-fi
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 madness and intell
...more
Res
Jul 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 want th
...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 ...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.
Zanna
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bechdel-pass, stem
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 Octavia's work th
...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 Iyapo. Lilith aw
...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 atrocities committe
...more
Megan Baxter
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 review has be
...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 s
...more
David
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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". In partic
...more
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.
Michael
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 so that when
...more
Lilia Ford
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. As we move to
...more
Tracy
3 1/2 stars. Very good again. I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first but I think that is because it is much bleaker than the first and since these are bleak times I struggled with it.
Scott Rhee
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The second book in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy, "Adulthood Rites," takes place years after the events of the first novel "Dawn", and it expounds more on the many social issues raised in the first book; namely issues of gender, sexuality, genetics, and humanocentrism.

In the first book, a peaceful alien race, the Oankali, has essentially saved humankind from extinction. Several hundred years after a global nuclear war has wiped out a majority of the world population and destroyed the pla
...more
Carolyn
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Elizabeth
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...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 a man made d
...more
Elizabeth
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 develops idea
...more
Valerie
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 oversteps itself. I read an in
...more
Renee
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 would act exac
...more
Maggie K
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...

Philosophical themes can sometim
...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...
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Source of the book: Bought with my own money
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8,230 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)

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