Adulthood Rites & Imago by Octavia E. Butler

(Xenogenesis #2 & 3)

(These 3 books are so short, they really should be read as one book. I finished #2 in the series but then finished #3 as well before having a chance to write the review for #2)

Adulthood Rites

This book is about Lilith’s first child, a human-Oankali construct child. Akin looks quite human-like. This book is about its upbringing, and eventual kidnapping by a ‘resister’ community. Some humans have rejected the Oankali aliens, and don’t want to live with them; they are called Resisters. They are determined to find a way to have pure human children. This has led them to kidnap Oankali children who look quite child-like before their metamorphosis into adulthood. Obviously living with the Resisters, Akin learns more about the human way of life than any Oankali before him. He empathizes with the humans, and wants do help them.


The focus of this book shifts to Jodahs, the first Oankail ooloi-human construct. It follows him as he tries to implement the plan to ‘save’ the human race, and give them an alternative option than living with the Oankali. It also is about the ooloi growing up and its search for mates.

Series Overview

The whole series of Xenogenesis is more about race, freedom, colonizers, and what defines ‘humanity’ than spaceships and explosions. It’s a slow burn, but detailed look at how things would look if humans were the colonized, rather than colonial masters. It also deals a lot with gender roles in families, and the society of Oankali aliens, and humans. This may not be the ‘sci-fi’ book for everyone, but it is certainly quite different to what I was expecting and to most of the other sci-fi I have ever read.

Rating: ★★★★

Book #83 & 84 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge

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