While science fiction is not my go-to genre to read, I found myself enjoying this book more than I thought. It is a weird contrast after just discussing When the Moon was Ours in class last week.
Lilith is a human who wakes up in an unfamiliar place after centuries of sleep, only to remember a nuclear war that destroyed the planet and a car accident that killed her family. The Oankali are creatures trying to save the surviving humans and bring them back to earth.
Within the first few pages, you already get a sense of how gender and race play into the plot. On page 11, Lilith says “I don’t mean any offense, but are you male or female?” Is it because the book was published in 1987 and this would be a typical question someone would ask? Or is it because Butler is playing on the idea of humans assuming gender as strictly binary?
Race also is incorporated in the storyline. I really liked that this book was older but still had a strong black woman as the main character. The idea that the alien species could also be viewed as a separate race was interesting and shows the dynamic between the characters well.
One thing from the book that I struggled with was how Lilith ended up pregnant when she was not even aware. The whole sex part between Lilith, Joseph and Nikanj confused me to be honest. I’m not sure I understand how she ends up pregnant via Nikanj with Joseph’s child. I would be interested to see how the next book turns out and see if any of my unanswered questions are resolved.