Book: Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
Published July 1980 by Doubleday Books|245 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library
Series: Patternmaster #1
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi
Doro is an entity who changes bodies like clothes, killing his hosts by reflex — or design. He fears no one until he meets Anyanwu. Anyanwu is a shapeshifter who can absorb bullets and heal with a kiss and savage anyone who threatens her. She fears no one until she meets Doro. Together they weave a pattern of destiny unimaginable to mortals.
After reading Fledging last year, I figured it was time to read another book by Butler. This was a really good choice, because I ended up really liking it!
I wasn’t sure about it at first, but eventually it won me over. I think what really stood out was slavery and freedom, especially with how different Doro and Anyanwu are. And with how they deal with their immortality and abilities…I felt really immersed in their world and what they (but particularly Anyanwu) were going through. You see so many different issues, like race and sexuality, in Wild Seed through Doro and Anyanwu, and I really liked that about the book, because it somehow made the book more accessible and interesting to think about. Especially since it’s sort of sci-fi but also sort of fantasy and sort of historical fiction.
The relationship between Doro and Anyanwu also really stands out to me. They have a really uneasy relationship, and they definitely struggle for control. Not only that, but their relationship is always changing, and with the span of time we see in the book, we see that highlighted really well. Their lives are very much entwined.
I am curious about how they both got their abilities and discovered it in others. It’s very much a normal part of life for them, even though those around them might not see them that way. They may be seen as different by others, but their abilities don’t seem to be the main reason why in some cases.
Wild Seed is a really hard book to pin down because it’s not just one thing- it’s a mix of genres and touches on so many different things that I’m not even sure what to talk about next. This is only the 2nd book I’ve read by Butler but I think it’s a great one to read if you’re new to her work.
4 stars. I really liked the relationship between Doro and Anyanwu and how much they contrast each other.