Gripping, absolutely gripping.
In post-apocalyptic California, not too far in the future, 2020s, climate change has taken its destructive toll: ravaging “the most powerful nation” and making ravenous people—cannibalist, rapists, scavangers, and druggies who love to see things on fire. Parable of the Sower follows the black heroine, Lauren Olamina, who grew up somewhat protected but is becoming increasingly disillusioned by her cul-de-sac’s longevity. The world is going—already—crazy; it is only a matter of time before her cul-de-sac’s walls crumble. Perhaps it was savviness or paranoia; nevertheless, at the age of 15 she starts to prepare her grab-and-go emergency pack. She reads anything and everything about surviving “out there”—where there are no walls, and where anybody or anything can kill you. In the midst of her preparation, she, the daughter of a baptist minister, quietly abandons Christianity and unravels, finds, and discovers the truth of Earthseed: God is Change. Her newfound belief motivates and sustains her, especially when everything hits the fan.
Octavia E. Butler is a master storyteller. While I briefly thought the novel started slow—only to set the stage well—it really picks up. The few times I had to put the book down was either because I had prior plans or because what I just read was too grisly. It’s not the most pleasant read, but it is one of the best dystopian or sci-fi I’ve read.