Review: Adulthood Rites

Series: Xenogenesis: #2

Adulthood Rites follows up with the story of Lilith and the alien invasion / our alien saviors set out in Dawn . This time around though, the main point of view follows Akin. A first generation child of an Oankali/human/Ooloi five parent mating–it’s about as weird and interesting as it sounds-who starts the story as a rather precocious (for a human) one year old.

It’s fascinating to see a more alien and childlike point of view on the world Octavia E. Butler built, especially as Akin spends a chunk of time among pure human resistors, becoming something of their champion.

It continues the crazy world building with the biotech heavy (almost to the point of exclusion) Oankali and the last gasps of humanity / first breaths of something new. The main story is chock full of moral quandaries–like do the humans have a right to continue to exist as human or do the Oankali really know what’s best in the very very long run. Especially given that we learn that when the Oankali leave, they'll be taking just about all of what makes Earth 'Earth' with them . A bit more complicated after all.

It really does make you think. About how terrible great and terrible humanity can be–are we even worth saving?–and about how sometimes even aliens need a bit of a human perspective.

A solid sequel.