Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Mind of My Mind (Patternmaster #2)" by Octavia E. Butler

Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge Pick

Though this is part of the Patternmaster series, due to the way the series was written, each book can essentially be read as a standalone. However, I recommend reading Wild Seed first, as it lends greater depth to this story. There aren't spoilers in this review.

Mary, one of the children Doro selectively bred to have strange supernatural powers, has come of age in this volume of the series, bringing about a time of change for these super-humans. Though Anyanwu was a strong heroine, she had preconceptions about how things should be that were a bit old fashioned- Mary has a new kind of thinking that is potentially dangerous to the way of life Doro has instilled in all of them.

Instead of the few characters that Wild Seed featured, Mind of My Mind has a fairly large cast. Each of these many characters are given unique attributes that make them essential to the plot- even creating the plot themselves at points. Though Doro looms large, Mary becomes a dynamic force in her own right: manipulating other people to accept her new ways (some of which she can't control). I love the version of the cover I chose for my review because of the way it portrays Mary- she looks apathetic, but inside the storm of her power rages.

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'For 4,000 years, an immortal has spread the seeds of a master race, using the downtrodden as his private breeding stock. But now a young ghetto telepath has found a way to awaken--and rule--her superhuman kind, igniting a psychic battle as she challenges her creator for her right to free her people.'

Though the way the summary and I describe the book may give the impression that this book is plot-heavy, it really isn't. True, all of Miss Butler's books seem deceptively simple when you read them, and then grow more complex as you brood on their ideas, but there isn't a whole lot of action going on in this book- think of the action less as a battle and more as a game of chess. I think that's why it always takes me so long to review these books- I don't want to sound ignorant, but at the same time I can see subtext in this book that I'm likely not entirely aware of.

Because this is such a cerebral book (as I attempted to describe above), it also makes it difficult to fully review without resulting in spoiling parts of it. In Wild Seed, from the beginning it's clear that Doro manipulates things in ways that do not always result in good situations for the women and men at his command, and that also happens in this book. Part of why Mary grows to be so dynamic is the fact that she sees how poorly Doro treats his people at times, and she wants that to change.

Mind of My Mind is a supernatural war within. There are some action scenes, but most of this book consists of Doro and Mary playing games with each other that don't always result in violence. If you have difficulty concentrating, this is a book to skip until you have full brain capacity at your disposal- I picked up on a few of the breadcrumbs thrown my way, but I am still left pondering what this book might mean for the next book in the series. I recommend Mind of My Mind to those who enjoy science fiction that lingers with you after it's read.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars for an excellent follow up to Wild Seed!

Content: Ages 18+ for adultery, domestic violence, a racial slur, sexual content, and a battle of the super humans.

Page Count: 224 pages


  1. Wild Seed is only $4.50 as an ebook, so I just might give it a whirl. Thanks for featuring these books. I have not seen them on anyone else's blog. :)

    1. I totally spaced and/or deleted this comment notification in my email- sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I bought the set of "Seed to Harvest" (the 4 books of this series) by Octavia E. Butler, which is currently priced at $9.99. Usually that price drops during Cyber Monday for Kindle deals, since Amazon owns the publisher (or so I believe). If you can hold out until then, that's when I first bought an Octavia E. Butler book.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, La La!
      ~Litha Nelle


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