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Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Adulthood Rites

Adulthood Rites  - Octavia E. Butler I liked the second book in the Xenogenesis series a lot. There were some problems with the fact that I thought the character Akin did a total change that didn't seem reasonable after seeing how the Resisters acted. His thought process that if only the Resisters were granted total freedom would lead them to be better than their overall nature I thought was naive based on what he witnessed and even based on what occurred in book #1.

In "Dawn" the main character was told from Lilith Iyapo. Lilith awakens hundreds of years after Earth was consumed by a nuclear war. Finding out that she was asleep and an alien race named the Oankali have come to breed with humans in order to create a new species worthy to trade feels her with fear and revulsion. In the end, Lilith agrees to the deal when she realizes that she can never be with her fellow humans who refused the deal by the Oankali who want to live apart from them. Those humans who refused to breed with the Oankali were made sterile before they left the alien spaceship and now live apart in so-called Resister villages.

Now 26 years later, Lilith and other humans who stayed with the Oankali are living with them and all of them have what they call constructs (children born with human and Okanli DNA). Lilith's son Akin is curious about his parents, the world around him and when he is kidnapped by a group of Resister men he gets to see human beings up close and personal.

I actually liked the character of Akin. I just didn't get how he came to the conclusion that he did about human beings. Especially because he saw the men who took him murder. And when he is left with another camp of people he once again saw humans murder each other. He found out that humans were making guns again. He also saw that most males had no respect for females autonomy and that women were being sold for goods or just stolen to be raped. If anything, I think that being a female on this new Earth was straight up crap in my opinion. The only thing that young girls and women seemed to be valued for was their ability to give birth.

We have other characters we are familiar with in this one. We get to see Lilith again, and we get to see her frustration with the choice she made.

We also get some new characters as well. For example, a new man comes to the village that Akin and Lilith live at (his name is Tino) who though he wants to be with Lilith is told not going to happen, you have to also agree to be with an Oankali as well which he doesn't want to be with due to him being repulsed by them. But once again, we have another person's consent to be ignored because everyone is telling him that he wants what is about to happen.

The story follows Akin as he grows up and when he metamorphoses into his final form and you have him worrying about whether he will be accepted by humans that he wants to lead since he may not look like them anymore.

I really enjoyed the writing and the dialogue. Especially when Akin is younger and he has realizations regarding the humans who have kidnapped him. Frankly at certain points in the book I was a little horrified by what the humans who decided to resist the Oankali were all about. They were actually just as bad in different ways from my point of view.

The flow though got a little slow and downright boring when Akin is back living with his family again. Things didn't pick up again towards the end.

The setting of Earth that now is very similar to what I would consider African villages I thought was an odd choice. Especially as one person who noted that most of the Resisters had went and built houses again and even had windows on their homes. The Oankali and human villages just lived in huts. Also mostly everyone on the planet eats vegetarian now (I recall in book #1 they told Lilith she didn't need meat so they didn't go and make any for the humans).

The world building is still pretty impressive though I also puzzled how in the world did humans who spoke different languages, have different backgrounds just come together and create their own towns/villages. And how in the heck did the people in the south (as they are called) figure out how to create guns. I got bows and arrows, and even machetes, but guns?

I also like that the bigger question is still out there about even if you do give human beings the right to settle away from the Oankali and to have children again, will they still manage to rise about what they Oankali consider their fatal flaw which is to be hierarchical in life?

I went and got book #3 since I am really curious how this series ends.