Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

He has lived for hundreds of years and has created settlements all over the world.  When he goes to check on an African village he set up many years before, he is dismayed but not surprised to see that it has disappeared, its inhabitants either killed or taken for slaves.  As he walks away, he picks up a vibration that there is another individual nearby who it would be worthwhile to check out.  He changes course and soon finds Anyanwu, an African woman who has, like him, lived lifetimes.  He makes himself known to her and soon has taken her for his wife and plans for them to move on to America.

But there is a fundamental difference between the two.  Doro is determined to bend others to his will always.  He has fathered hundreds of children and uses them as social experiments as he tries to duplicate his own powers.  He must constantly kill in order to survive, taking the bodies of those he murders.  Anyanwu is a shape-shifter and while she can be cruel if it means survival, her first instinct is always to help those around her and to build a family.  These two unite in what will be a contest of wills that lasts for centuries.  Who will win?  Strength and cruelty or kindness and love?

This is an early novel of Octavia Butler's work.  It has an interesting premise and there are three other novels that follow this start in the series.  It is a classic battle of good vs evil, yet each of these individuals is forced to work with the other as there is no one else like them in the universe.  The reader will be caught up in their struggle as they each attempt to build a world that will survive.  This book is recommended for readers of science fiction.

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