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Publisher's Summary

As the acclaimed Patternist science-fiction series begins, two immortals meet in the long-ago past - and mankind's destiny is changed forever. 

For a thousand years, Doro has cultivated a small African village, carefully breeding its people in search of seemingly unattainable perfection. He survives through the centuries by stealing the bodies of others, a technique he has so thoroughly mastered that nothing on Earth can kill him. But when a gang of New World slavers destroys his village, ruining his grand experiment, Doro is forced to go west and begin anew. He meets Anyanwu, a centuries-old woman whose means of immortality are as kind as his are cruel. She is a shape-shifter, capable of healing with a kiss, and she recognizes Doro as a tyrant. Though many humans have tried to kill them, these two demi-gods have never before met a rival. Now they begin a struggle that will last centuries and permanently alter the nature of humanity.

©1980 Octavia E. Butler (P)2020 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

“Richly evocative...particularly striking.” (Chicago Tribune)

What listeners say about Wild Seed

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Tough Review To Write...

First, let me say that I consider myself an Octavia Butler fan all day long. However, on the days I read “Wild Seed,”… let’s just say... they were challenging ones. Although the writing was top-notched and unparalleled (it's Octavia Butler, after all), this book irritated the heck out of me. Octavia Butler is always a 5-star read. Alas, here we are. It’s nearly unbelievable that I’m giving this story a 4- a 3, is just inconceivable (but probably more indicative of my true feelings).

Given Anyanwu’s stunning gifts, I was expecting a whole other kind of story. I didn’t get that. At least not in my opinion. Instead, I got the story of a woman playing the role of the “savior-negro”. Apologies for the term, but that's just how annoyed I was while reading this book. There just seemed to be way too much of Anyanwu spending her time coddling men, bearing their children, or saving them from certain disasters. I kept expecting her to rise up against Doro regardless of what she thought he might do to her. I at least expected her to realize that he was not a man (or thing) of his word and know that whatever she thought she was doing to protect her people was irrelevant. I nearly stopped listening during the conversation between Anyanwu and Isaac. There, he convinces her-easily in my opinion- to indenture (enslave?) herself to his father for the rest of her life. All this while expecting her to be “shared” by him and his father.

Anyanwu could have done anything-gone anywhere. At this point in the story, there were no children for her to protect from Doro. There was nothing for him to use against her. So what does she do? She allows the enabler Isaac to convince her that she needs to stay-to essentially help his father become a better... whatever. Anyanwu idolizes Isaac, reveres him, and he was no better than his father was.

This character could have done anything. The book just goes on and on about the many instances of her being subservient to a maniac. Nothing changed even after many years (centuries?) when she was the mistress of her own home. She had even topped on a few more abilities to make her even more dynamic!

I’m sure that I missed the point Ms. Butler was going for with this story. She’s a literary genius after all. I’d like to gain a different perspective and move forward to the other titles in the series. I think I’ll need to build up a lot more tolerance for the storyline before I do.

60 people found this helpful

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Why a Wildseed.....

This book had it all. I totally recommend it. I t grands your attention and holds it. All of the characters are so interesting. You won't be sorry that you listened to this fantastic book.

6 people found this helpful

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Quite the Surprise!

I was quite surprised with this book! I was pleased with the flow of the story and the outcome. I enjoyed the book so much that I went to my local Barnes and Nobels to purchase the hard copy! I plan to read the entire installment of this series.

5 people found this helpful

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excellent audio book

This book demonstrates cruelty and evil in its characters, but also great tenderness and love. It's an amazing read, and provides a remarkable statement on race, gender, and asks the question who owns one's own body, and in what way.

5 people found this helpful

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Exceptional narration

The story was interesting by itself, but the skills of the narrator really made it a joy to listen to. She seamlessly jumped from male to female characters and used different accents with the skill of a master storyteller.

5 people found this helpful

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YES

Yes this book is worth the time.
Yes it is still provocative though nearly 40 years old
Yes the narrator does a superb reading.
Yes the story will enrich you

5 people found this helpful

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Octavia is my queen

the ending made my day. I never really enjoyed love stories but Queen butler made it happen!

5 people found this helpful

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A stunning read

This book blew me away. I finished it in just a little over a week. I really had trouble putting it down, it was just so magically written. The tenderness with which the characters are held, is strikingly beautiful. There are no “bad guys“ or “good guys“ in Octavia’s writing. People just are the way they are. They have their own motivations, their own desires, their own flaws.

The last chapter had me literally on the edge of my seat. I had to stop all else that I was doing, and just focus on it. I did not know which way the book would turn out, and I feared the worst. Absolutely incredible writing.

4 people found this helpful

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I’be read the book

But hearing the story was just as intense as reading the book. I tried to listen slowly but was so enthralled with the the story the chapters flew by. I’m now disappointed the story is over...sigh! I highly recommend reading and listening to this book!!!

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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60% too long

Everything that will happen and the story line is done by chapter 8. It is nothing but repetitive drivel repeated endlessly. The person who came up with the idea of the story must have turned it over to a rote writer with instructions to just repeat repeat and make sure you u use outrageous names to pronounce to distract from ZERO story line or happening Know this is about money and extending the story but this blatant misuse to make sure the story extends to sequels Wirks all hope and trust.

Will remember the authors name to make sure I never trust her with my literary dollars again. Just disappointed that the mind to come up with the story line took a vacation after the outline was done.

Enjoy the sample. There is nothing more for u but what should have been a finish to the one chapter that the author was awake for

2 people found this helpful

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  • tamsin
  • 11-10-21

loved it

loved it, not my favourite of her books but it's up there for sure. would recommend