Lilith Iyapo has given birth to what looks like a normal human boy, Akin. But his genealogy is complicated and includes an alien race that rescued humanity from a devastating nuclear war. The price the Oankali exact is a high one - they are compelled to genetically merge their species with other races, drastically altering both in the process.
On her 26th birthday, Dana and her husband are moving into their apartment when she starts to feel dizzy. She falls to her knees, nauseous. Then the world falls away.She finds herself at the edge of a green wood by a vast river. A child is screaming. Wading into the water, she pulls him to safety, only to find herself face to face with a very old…
On a rehabilitated Earth, this new race is emerging, living alongside the 'pure' humans who choose to resist the aliens and the salvation they offer. These resisters are sterilized so that they cannot reproduce the genetic defect that drives humanity to destroy itself.
When the resisters kidnap young Akin, the Oankali choose to leave the child with his captors. Will Akin give the resisters back their fertility and freedom, even though they will only destroy themselves again?
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