Sunday, 19 January 2014

Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler

"At one point, it beckoned to her with a sharp movement of head tentacles."

There are days when the mere thought of getting out of bed seems like a bridge too far to cross and then something wonderful happens. This epic novel ( well technically it is 3 novels published in one handy compendium) was the perfect antidote to the gut wrenching writer's block that was completely stifling my attempts to complete my university assignment. Less said on that front the better, just ecstatic that my worst ever academic attempt ( cringe worthy) is behind me and my reward is that I can wax lyrical about this amazing story that happens to be one of the best science fiction tales I have ever read!!

Don't doubt the exclamation marks. This hit me like a bolt from beyond and was thoroughly and delightfully unexpected. I mean, look at the cover - it looks like bad soft porn or something, but oh how it is not! The Earth has been ravaged by war and humankind's only hope is to be saved by the Oankali, a kind of parasitic race that spread out through the galaxy interspersing their genetic material with other races in a form of galactic genetics trade. Did I mention they have tentacles? It sounds like something from old school Dr Who doesn't it, but dare I say it, it is so much better.

This tackles real questions about what it means to be human and where our warlike impulses could really let us down. Everything about this world was so vivid and immediate and you could imagine the very real way having half alien children would leave you in a complete quandary. Needless to say, this one is, in my humble opinion, a must read. Ignore the dodgy cover and the unexciting title and get ready for one (well technically 3) amazing tale.

5 out of 5, get your hidden tentacle away from me young whippersnapper.

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