Wild Seed #BookReview

Author: Octavia Butler, published 1980

I’ve sat on this review for awhile. I’ve decided, it’s not because I didn’t like the story but, because I didn’t like the characters in the story. 

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The story is mostly about Anyanwu, an African woman born in The 1600’s and her life as it’s connected to Doro. Anyanwu is not sure why or how but, she is an immortal. She’s never met anyone like herself until Doro comes for her. Doro is more of a spirit, with the ability to inhabit human bodies. When his current body starts to die, he pushes himself into the next. Unlike Anyanwu, he seeks out others like himself in order to control and manipulate them. He’s developed settlements across the world where he enslaves humans, impregnating women with his seed, forever seeking to recreate the ‘wild seed’. One of these settlements is where he takes Anyanwu. 

Octavia Butler is an award winning sci-Fi author, who happens to be a Black Woman. Her stories share multi-layered themes of race, gender and sex as they relate to power. Set in 17-1800’s, the height of the African slave trade, Butler, in a fiction novel, reflects true history. As Doro and Anyanwu travel from Africa to the Americas, we meet the African men responsible for betraying their own people and selling men, women and children to white slave traders. We meet would be slaves on the ship and hear their stories of capture and fear of what’s to come. 

That aspect of the story makes it interesting and a nice respite to Anyanwu, who never raises to more than perpetual victim, and Doro, the narcissist. I never found an ounce of like for either one of them. 😫 The books saving graces are the supporting characters and storylines. Anyanwu’s relationship with Doro’s favorite son and what becomes of her own settlement is a great read. 

Wild Seed is a prequel to Butler’s Patternist series, which I didn’t read. Maybe, if I had, I would have given a shit about these two characters. Will I read the series? eh. TBD. 🤷🏾‍♀️ #GoodBook Well, maybe #OkayBook. 😏 Book 21 of 24!

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