I hate writing negative reviews, especially for authors I love, but this book did not do it for me. Middle parts of a trilogy are difficult, I understand that, but this book just felt repetitive and barely moved the narrative forward. This novel focuses on the first male child born of a human (with genetic input from the Oankali) on earth since humanity was saved from extinction. Lilith, the main character from the first book is the mother but she barely appears as Akin, her son, is stolen away by humans fairly early in the story.
He is a very young, immature and alien character and I never felt connected to him. The sense of wonder and exploration that helped drive the first book feels like well trodden ground here. It was already established that humans during this story are split between being understanding but slightly resentful of the Oankali and raging assholes who looked at the Mad Max series as a how to guide.
The biggest revelation in this novel is that Akin is going to try to get humans to live on Mars which is interesting but is literally the only development worth mentioning in the book. This could have been two chapters at the end of the last book or the beginning of the final part of the trilogy and nothing would have been lost. Read it if you want to know more about the character of Akin who I assume will be the focus of the final book, otherwise avoid it. There are much better Octavia Butler works to read. 2 out of 5 stars