Dawn : Xenogenesis

  • by Octavia E. Butler
  • Narrated by Aldrich Barrett
  • Series: Xenogenesis
  • 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation while the aliens begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet. When Lilith Iyapo is "awakened", she finds that she has been chosen to revive her fellow humans in small groups by first preparing them to meet the utterly terrifying aliens, then training them to survive on the wilderness that the planet has become. But the aliens cannot help humanity without altering it forever.
Bonded to the aliens in ways no human has ever known, Lilith tries to fight them even as her own species comes to fear and loathe her. A stunning story of invasion and alien contact by one of science fiction's finest writers.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Where does Dawn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Dawn ranks up into my top 5 books of all time. I read a lot of books, sci-fi, fantasy and horror. I have been through so many different authors that it's mind boggling. Not one can I say I am what you'd call a "fan." I would buy two maybe three books by a single author and lose interest. They eventually become unrelatable and repetitive to me. I am a very hard to please book fan... extremely hard to please. I have just discovered Octavia E. Butler last week. I have already read /listened to four of her books. For me, the way she writes is a way I can relate to. I see myself in her characters. I listen to her "Forwards" and "Afterwards" and I am right there with her. I've never had that with an author before. She is a real literary gem and more than deserving of every award she won. At least, in my opinion.

What other book might you compare Dawn to and why?

I can't really compare the story to another book. It's more like a very interesting "Twilight Zone" episode.

Have you listened to any of Aldrich Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first listen to Aldrich Barrett. She is Amazing. Her voice is soothing yet to the point and quietly intense when it needs to be. Her character voices are easily distinguishable. She has no overly cartoony voices. She doesn't try to have a "male" voice, yet it comes across clearly that she's speaking as a male character. No obnoxious lisp, gross popping saliva like sound some other readers have. I would Love to hear a book read by her coupled with Tim Curry.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The main characters revulsion and acceptance at the same time.

Any additional comments?

Give one of Octavia's books a try. I rarely rave about authors, you can see this from my other reviews. If you like stories that reply more on the actual story to be interesting, psychologically complex, then Octavia's writing is for you. If you Only need 6 hours of someone bashing in skulls to entertain you and scare you (Not that I am opposed to such books, they just aren't very.... scary, kind of boring and most try too hard to be shocking that they fail horribly), you will not have the intellect to understand the real horror she writes about.

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- Barbara

Amazing, a wonderful Sci-Fi! Super recomended

Originally published at: A Girl that Likes Books

Intelligence does aloud you to ignore the fact you dislike

First impression

When this was selected for the Sword and Laser I learned that my library only had the second book in the series. The premise seemed so unique and I really wanted to read a book by Octavia E. Buttler so I decided to get myself a copy through Audible. Now I am very happy I did since I want to be able to give it to people to listen too; I will be getting the rest of the trilogy too.

Final thoughts

The book works with the premise that human race has been almost annihilated from Earth, due to war. A few survivors have been "rescued" by an extraterrestrial species, called Oankali, who are described as being covered by tiny tentacles (I imagined their skin like an inside out version of the small intestine, but that's just me) with slight human appearance when approaching Lilith, the main character, at first. Lilith is a black woman who has been awaken several times before (she ignores how many) and she has been selected as the person who will train a new group of humans to be taken back to Earth.

This book was absolutely amazing. I was afraid I was going to have a problem with the voice given to the Oankali since a lot of people were wondering about this on the Internet, but Aldrich Barrett made a great job, at least for me. Independent of the format that you are reading this book will touch a very big question: What exactly makes us human? Is it our bodies? Is it our culture? Can one be separated of the other?

Such a unique book. It has a great main character, that not only questions her own humanity but puts into discussion how human relationships are built and their outcomes. The way she is treated by this alien race and then the way the other humans treated her for me was a questioning of the society we've grown accustomed to. It was interesting to see secondary characters that represented greed or fear to an extreme point and how this type of behaviours affected the construction of a whole new dynamic between individuals.

I liked that, for a sci-fi, it wasn't "plagued" with terminology. Sure, we have the names of the different Oankali, but doors aren't call intramural passages for example, or worst, made up words without context. All is being explained to Lilith and through her to ours and yet it all feels so alien.

Someone said that for him this book was racist and homophobic, which I feel obliged to counter here. Yes there are comments against Lilith being the leader, as she is a woman, but this comment came from another human and from my point of view, this was pout there precisely to point out how society still reacts like that with a woman on a position of power. The fact that the book has a sexist or an homophobic character, does not make the book sexist nor homophobic. The book deals with several "hard" subjects, such as race, sexism, rape just to name a few. But I think the author's intention was to start a discussion about them, show how this can appear and the consequences. I believe this book pushes a lot of buttons, but in a very good way. I have already recommended the book all over the place and can't wait to continue with the story, learn more about the Oankali and Lilith's outcome.
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- Carolina

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-24-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios