Review: Wild Seed (Patternnist #1) by Octavia E. Butler

I devoured this novel on a travel day, starting in Baltimore and ending in Indianapolis. I enjoyed many separate elements of this book, from the two very different main characters and their interactions to the historical and scientific elements. Doro and Anyanwu are fantastic foils to each other. While their interactions were sometimes uncomfortable, great storytelling is not always easy.

Doro is a fascinating antagonist, and I was intrigued by his manipulation of people. Overall, it’s interesting to read about genetics in a world where genetics has not yet been “invented.” There is a method to his madness, even if any modern institutional review board would have a proper fit.

Anyanwu barely begins to fill the void that exists in science fiction. We need more women of color heroes, especially ones who are strengthened by family ties and not limited by their sexuality. She and Doro are excellent foils, and neither character ever comes out on top in their interactions.

I love reading about any type of immortality and how age affects characters. We see Doro and Anyanwu in three different historical time periods during the course of this book, where individual’s roles are stratified in society by their race and gender. I look forward to continuing this series, to see where these two characters and Doro’s epic genetic program leads.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by J.L. Gribble

Author, Editor, Worldbuilder

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