Dawn was really interesting to me; I didn’t realize how much time was passing by as I was reading it. I thought it was going to be weirder than it actually was, but I really enjoyed seeing the development of Lilith and her acceptance of the Oankali life. One thing that had a strong presence in the novel was the human’s resistance to the ooloi’s absence of gender. Within Lilith’s first introduction to Jdahya, she automatically identified him as male, even though he was something seemingly foreign to her. In addition to this, when the other humans are awakened by Lilith, they automatically gender the ooloi as male and refer to it as he/him. They can’t seem to accept it as it is. Along with this, the other human being’s can’t accept the pleasure they feel when they engage with the ooloi’s sensory hand along with their mate. Joseph is the main person who “knows” that he feels pleasure from being with both Nikanj and Lilith; however, it is alarming that the Oankali would go through with the action without verbal consent. Even though they know what the humans are feeling through their sensory arms, it still feels wrong.
It was hard for me to understand if Lilith’s bond with the Oankali was real or whether it was a form of Stockholm Syndrome. Towards the end of the novel, she is talking to an ooloi and tells it that she doesn’t want to kill any of the Oankali, but rather get away from them entirely. But it tells her “I know you think that”, insinuating that she isn’t aware of how she really feels towards to Oankali community. In addition, Octavia Butler really dropped the bomb at the end, what with Nikanj impregnating Lilith with Joseph’s child. Once again Nikanj did this without Lilith’s verbal consent, but it said that Lilith is ready for her child to be born, which it knew because of their connection. Overall, this novel was very interesting and hard to put down, I may even have to read the other books in the series. However, it was not something that I would have chosen if I were simply at the library.