Octavia Butler holds a special place in my heart. I haven’t read many of her books, but my experience with Kindred blew me away and I became an instant fan. So I’ve been eager to jump into this large (and slightly intimidating) trilogy, Lilith’s Brood.
Lilith Iyapo is in the Andes, mourning the death of her family, when war destroys Earth. Centuries later, she is resurrected — by miraculously powerful unearthly beings, the Oankali. Driven by an irresistible need to heal others, the Oankali are rescuing our dying planet by merging genetically with mankind. But Lilith and all humanity must now share the world with uncanny, unimaginably alien creatures: their own children. – Goodreads
I’m not really sure where to begin with this review – this is a complex and incredibly detailed trilogy, with some really tough themes. It explores the human need for independence and our tendency to destroy things we don’t understand or care for. The humans saved by the Oankali are given a choice – live with them in special villages on Earth and have children with them, or be left sterile and out in the wilderness to fend for themselves. How do you make a choice like that? The resulting conflict carries through the entire series – it’s quite a heavy theme. I read all three books in a row, which was mentally draining but worth it – I love books that make you think.
This series really just confirmed my adoration for Butler. Her characters are so real and flawed and her world building blows me away. The Oankali biology is an integral part of the story, and she explores it with great depth. I was immersed in this world and felt a bit lost once it was done. I wish there was more.