Dawn (Xenogenesis, Book 1)
Octavia E. Butler, 1987
Premise: After a horrible war, few humans were left alive. Lilith Iyapo lived through the war, only to awaken in a featureless room. Who brought her here, are they rescuers or captors or something more complicated? And what plans do they have for the remnants of humanity?
Lilith is a strong, complex character, and the reader sees the plot unfold entirely from her perspective. Her struggles - within herself, with the Oankali, with other humans - prove her to be smart, adaptable, human and fallible. How her personal convictions grow and shift while she learns more about her situation make up the greatest part of the drama.
It won't be giving much away to tell you that Lilith and the other survivors have been taken on board an alien spacecraft. The aliens are keeping most of the humans suspended or separated while they learn about them and repair the damaged Earth. The alien-ness of the Oankali is wonderfully done. They can act human, and are bipedal, but every time Lilith thinks she understands, something new is revealed. I am always intrigued by a truly alien race, and few authors do a good job with them.
Dawn deals with human sexuality and relationships in an intriguing, dark, adult manner, without being in almost any sense a “romance”. The complexity and ambivalence of this book was fascinating to me. I absolutely loved it
5 Stars – An Amazing Book!
I will definitely be seeking out the sequels to this.
The whole series is called Lillith's Brood or Xenogenesis, and it's for sale at Amazon.com