Review: Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis Book 2 of 3)

Adulthood Rites - Octavia E. Butler

I hadn’t expected to finish this book quite so early this evening, but the last 10% was a preview for the final book in the trilogy.  I shouldn't have been surprised, because the table of contents did list it and there had also been a preview at the end of book one.  I was just all wrapped up in the story and then suddenly I was at the end.  In any case, I didn’t need the preview to decide I wanted to read the next book.  I skipped the preview and downloaded the next book immediately!

I enjoyed this book just as much as the first book in the series.  In some ways, I may have enjoyed it more.  Adulthood Rites didn’t have the catchy “what’s going on?!” beginning that Dawn had, but it still held my attention and became increasingly interesting as the story progressed.  In some ways I think this book had the meatier story out of the two, although I do think it had a little less moral ambiguity.  We have a different main character in this book that I really liked, and his perspective was a very interesting one to read from.

I’m hesitant to provide any kind of a synopsis for this book, because there’s nothing I could say about it that wouldn’t spoil the story from the first book.  For the sake of anybody who’s read the first book but hasn’t yet continued on with the series, I’ll just give a brief explanation within spoiler tags about where this second story starts out.  This shouldn’t spoil anything in Adulthood Rites, but it would completely spoil Dawn:


In the beginning of this book, the Oankali and the humans have already settled on Earth.  When the first book ended, we had just learned that Lilith was pregnant.  When this book begins, Lilith has already given birth to several half-Oankali, half-human daughters.  These children are referred to as “constructs”.  Now Lilith has given birth to the first son born from a human woman, Akin.  His half-Oankali nature means that he perceives his world very differently from humans so it was a really interesting perspective to read from.  There are several familiar characters from the first book, but the story focuses primarily on Akin.

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I’m looking forward the finishing up the third book, and I’m excited to have discovered a new-to-me author whose writing I enjoy so much!