Saturday, February 6, 2021

YA Review: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, graphic novel adaptation by Damian Duffy and John Jennings

Title: Parable of the Sower

Author: Octavia Butler, graphic novel adaptation by Damian Duffy and John Jennings

Year Published: 2020

Category: YA fiction (graphic novel, dystopian)
Pages: 261
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map)USA (California)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): In this graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower by Damian Duffy and John Jennings, the award-winning team behind Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, the author portrays a searing vision of America’s future. In the year 2024, the country is marred by unattended environmental and economic crises that lead to social chaos. Lauren Olamina, a preacher’s daughter living in Los Angeles, is protected from danger by the walls of her gated community. However, in a night of fire and death, what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny . . . and the birth of a new faith.

Review: have heard so much about Octavia Butler and feel like she is an author I should read, but haven't. So, when our local Santa Barbara Independent (weekly newspaper) book group chose this book for its February read, I thought it was a good opportunity. And, it comes in graphic novel form, which is great because I have been meaning to read more graphic novels and I wasn't sure if this was a book I was going to enjoy. 
The illustrations in this novel are fantastic and evocative of the dystopian landscape of California in 2027 where fire and drought have ravaged the state, creating violence, environmental catastrophe, hunger, and general disaster. It's also great to see BIPOC characters in a dystopian story.

The story is intense, especially for someone who lives in California now and we do have drought and fires and a pandemic. Whew! The story is well told even though I didn't really like it that much; I especially didn't connecting to the faith parts of the story. I think I'd give the book a 3 because it isn't a good fit for me, but I raised it to a 4 because if you're into this type of book, it is really well done.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • A to Z--"P"
  • Alphabet (Author)-- "B"
  • Diversity--BIPOC author and characters
  • Popsugar--An Afrofuturist book; author has the same astrological sign as me: cancer


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