Book Review: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler - The Fantasy Review

Book Review: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Maddy‘s Review of Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

This book is amazing! Definitely one of my favorite reads so far in 2023, and in my top 20 favorite books of all time. Parable of the Sower is not a book that will be for everyone. It is very grim dark and has a lot of trigger warnings throughout.

Some trigger warnings: cannibalism, sexual assault, abuse, human trafficking, and slavery.

It is a very difficult read. I can’t believe Octavia published the book in 1993.

review of parable of the sower

The scary thing is that this book is set in 2025, and not very different than how our world is now. Corruption, greed, climate change, social inequality, lack of water, just as a start. The book is about Lauren, a young woman who has hyper-empathy; which means that she can feel the pain and pleasure of others. Pain being more common though. Life is breaking down rapidly due to social inequality and climate change. Lauren and her group can’t leave their compound without danger, they must take guns and go in groups if they leave the walls. Police and fireman are corrupt, they only come to help people if they have money for them. Life is pretty devoid of hope.

Quotes that stood out:

“The is no end to what a living world will demand of you.”

“Embrace diversity. Unite, or be divided, robbed, ruled, killed by those who see you as prey. Embrace diversity or be destroyed.”

I liked the characters, especially Lauren. Her relationship to others is interesting, especially with her hyper-empathy. She is a very kind, caring, intelligent person, who is hopeful for the future. It was compelling, seeing how characters approached each other and how they treated strangers. Will they shoot them, welcome them in, or just turn them away?

The atmosphere was intense. I was on the edge of my seat and worried for the characters constantly. I read this book over just a couple days. I didn’t want to put the book down. Octavia paints the world so beautifully, and you really feel like you are there with Lauren and the others.

The book is 345 pages. There is a sequel though, called Parable of Talents. I can’t wait to read that and learn more about this grim world, where there is a little bit of hope. Definitely a 5 out of 5 star read for me. I recommend this to people who like grim dark, dystopian novels that feel pretty similar to our world.

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