Book Review: Dawn - Octavia E. Butler

Published: June 2019

5 - Stars

My book review policy

There are a lot of books out there with an interesting premise. There are a lot of books out there with interesting characters. There are a lot of books out there with gripping writing that immediately pulls you into the story and never lets you go.

This book has all three.

I’m starting to realize that one of my favorite things in a story is reasonably intelligent characters who are doing the best that they can with a crazy situation. They’ll make mistakes and some of them might have even been avoidable. But when they make a mistake you understand the character enough that can see why that made the choices that they did.

Lilith, the main character of this novel, is probably one of my favorite protagonists for these reasons. She’s intelligent and level-headed as they come.

Even the Oankali, the alien race in the book, fit into this mold. I think that’s what makes them so relatable and so interesting. Although they are superior to human beings in every way, even with their vast knowledge they still make choices that seem right at the time but later turned out to be mistakes.

I think that’s what I love most about this book. That the trauma and the tragedy seem both avoidable and entirely inevitable at the same time. I think that’s a mark of fantastic writing.

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Rob Skidmore writes science fiction stories about being human.

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