Reviews tagging Sexual violence

Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler

95 reviews

pajamaliv's review

Go to review page

challenging dark sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated

4.0

Woof. 

That's all I gotta say.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

anjalirenee's review

Go to review page

challenging dark informative tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

dana and kevin >_< love is real 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

marthadude's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

rlgreen91's review

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

 This was a book that I wrestled with. Each time I picked it up, I had this feeling of wanting to and actually enjoying it that warred with this feeling of how heavy the truths it laid bare are.

I'm sure there are tons of literature out there about this novel and the idea of power, and what it means to have power over another person, and how that intersects with the racial hierarchies of the U.S. I'm also sure that there is a lot of literature about this novel and what it means to love someone, and how that works or doesn't in terms of power dynamics. I think the parallel Butler drew between Rufus and Kevin was an insightful critique of how our view of marriage is subject to the same feelings of love as possession and ownership, regardless of whether the characters believe they are equal.

I do want to say that I think this novel, along with Toni Morrison's A Mercy, does a great job of showing how a person is influenced by their culture, and that since a society is set up to incentivize certain behaviors, how difficult it is to get a single person to act in a different way. Rufus Weylin, like Morrison's Jacob Vaark, is a man of his time, who reconciles himself to the practices of his time, even if there's some initial resistance. But, we also see them take the occasional action that goes outside of what the society and culture of the time dictate. That doesn't necessarily mean that he should be absolved of his cruel actions - and is beside the point. Similarly, Weylin's departure from how other slaveowners act, including his own father, isn't enough on its own to dismantle the whole system of slavery. But those departures make a difference in someone's life - notably Hagar's, and Dana's, although for good or bad it's hard to say. 

One other thing I liked about this novel was a bit of truth-telling, when Dana forced Rufus to confront that he was responsible for what happened to Alice. It reminds me of Butler's short story "Bloodchild", when Gan is honest about what it would mean to volunteer his sister for what has up to that point been his destiny. I noted this in my review of that collection, but it's refreshing to see characters be honest with themselves about what the choices they make say about what and who they value. It's something I wish we'd engage in more in real life, honestly, so I'll always appreciate a moment like that in a novel.

Overall, this was a solid 4.5 stars. On to the Parables. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

emilyspex's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I couldn't put this book down; it's the best book I've read this year. Absolutely chilling and compelling.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

5aru's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark emotional reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

See how easily slaves are made?

I am embarrassed it took me this long to get to reading Kindred, but I finally have; I finished it yesterday in the middle of a plane trip, and my eyes kept tearing up in the most embarrassing, not-quite-crying manner. I felt like I knew how it would end - like I knew Rufus would always want more than Dana could give, that the empathy of an ante-bellum South man (child, really) could only bend so far - but it surprised me how much I didn't want that to happen. The fact that Butler had me unconsciously cheering for a literal slaver's redemption arc gave me the chills.

I was definitely expecting something else in terms of writing style; it surprised me how straightforward and to the point Butler was, in ways that sometimes reminded me of Hemingway's deceptively simple words and phrasings. But there is no denying how effective it is, how poignantly it conveys the moral complexity of the relationships it builds. Certainly not the last of Butler I'll read.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

summerb's review

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

ladylostinthelibrary's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75

Octavia Butler can do no wrong. I'll die on this hill

This was a quick, but tense read. 
Uncontrollable time travel, slavery, family? 

Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, Butler said "ha" and flipped one on me. 

I can see why Kindred is one of her most popular books 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

claudiamacpherson's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

monia_beza's review

Go to review page

adventurous challenging dark emotional informative reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings