Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm half-tempted to hold off on a review until I read the full trilogy. I've come to understand that the full story isn't explored until we've read the whole thing... BUT since this was published as the first book, here I go, anyway. :)
This is quite a bit different from Kindred, focusing instead on the social, emotional, and physical changes associated with being awoken in captivity among some very strange and awesome alien-aliens. This isn't Star Trek. It's more of a Cthuhlu encounter without the overarching dread, modifying the humans through drugs and genetic changes and being told that the rest of the human race has wiped itself out with nukes.
From every indication, these super-alien creatures are super empathic and only want to prepare and release us back on the planet, but more than half of the tale is about earning trust or perhaps falling into Stockholm Syndrome. Awakening other humans for the grand purpose goes about as well as any of us humans might expect.
Especially when the aliens let us know that our children are going to be hybrids.
I see a lot of modern SF's roots in this book. Anything more interested in relationships and human nature and working through some serious s**t.
It's not fast-paced. It relies on subtlety and empathy with and about the aliens and her slow change into a person that successfully straddles both worlds without being a part of either. Quite interesting, but it obviously leaves the tale unfinished. On to book two!
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