Title: Parable of the Sower
Author: Octavia E. Butler
My Rating: 6/10
Read This If: you like science fiction without aliens, the word “hyperempathy” interests you, you question what 2025 might look like
Main Themes: Religion, Survival, Future, Faith
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Whew. I don’t know if I breathed while I was reading this. As a post-apocalyptic novel written in 1993, the plot is tense and the world is dark. But just dark enough to make it believable that this could be our world in another decade or two.
This was the Zero Dark Thirty of books. It came in at about an 80% intensity level and never dipped. But it was super easy to read since it’s written in journal format from the perspective of a 15-year old Lauren Olamina, who also has hyperempathy syndrome (feels others’ pain as her own). Which, in a world as dark as Butler predicts, makes for quite a struggle.
Plot Summary: When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.