Lilith Iyapo awakens to find that most of the Earth has been destroyed by nuclear war, and the surviving humans have been kept in suspended animation by an alien race called the Oankali. The Oankali are driven to travel the universe in search of other intelligent species to breed with in order to share their genetic code, altering both species. They have reconstructed Earth in order to make it habitable for what is left of the humans, but in order to rebuild humanity, the Oankali must change it forever.

''Lilith's Brood'', by OctaviaButler, previously published as ''Xenogenesis'', is the compilation of three novels. The first in the series follows Lilith after she awakens to her new world, while the sequels are told from the point of view of her genetically altered children.

!!This series contains examples of:
* [[ActuallyIAmHim Actually I Am Her]]: In the second book, Lilith introduces herself to a human who had run away from the Oankali. He remarks that she has an unfortunate name, since it's the same as the woman who betrayed humanity by allying with the Oankali, before she explains she ''is'' that woman.
* AfterTheEnd: The first book opens after nuclear war, which the Oankali almost interpreted as a collective suicide by humanity.
* BenevolentAlienInvasion: The Oankali generally mean well, as they see themselves making humanity better by creating a new, unflawed race. Many of the humans, however, don't see it that way.
* BizarreAlienBiology: The Oankali are ''very'' alien, even the ones that are specifically modeled to look more human, so much so that the humans have a hard time accepting them, and many never do.
* BizarreAlienSexes: Oankali have three sexes: female, male, and ooloi. Ooloi have "sensory arms" which they use during sex (and also for microsurgery/healing/taking DNA samples).
* BrotherSisterIncest: The default and ideal mating group ("coupling" is inaccurate by 33%, as explained above) for Oankali is a brother and sister plus an ooloi from a different family[[note]]It's helpful to know that the ooloi are living gene manipulators, and as long as they don't get complacent with genes they know (hence them being from a different family), they prevent the negative genetic aspects of incest[[/note]]. They tend to encourage these...family values in humans, which means that hybrid families involve TWO EACH of males and females, plus ooloi.
* CursedWithAwesome: The Oankali consider humans uniquely blessed and genetically very attractive because we have . . . cancer. It turns out the same genes that can go so horribly wrong also can be used for regenerative abilities they've never seen before.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: [[spoiler: Turns out the Oankali aren't that nice after all - they're basically strip-mining Earth to make more spaceships because of their drive to genetically merge with other species, hence they can't just let a society of fertile humans alone]].
* FaceFullOfAlienWingWong: The Oankali solution to humanity's "flaw".[[note]]The ooloi take all the DNA samples of the parents and build fetuses without the flaw (or any flaws, really) of hierarchies and sentience.[[/note]]
* HalfHumanHybrid: The children of Lilith and the other humans who breed with the Oankali.
* HiddenElfVillage: It turns out [[spoiler:that the Oankali's sterilization of humanity wasn't entirely perfect; by the time of the third book, there's one settlement that's inhabited by the (extremely inbred) descendants of the two remaining fertile humans]].
* HumansAreBastards: see below
* HumansAreFlawed: also see below
* IncestIsRelative: The Oankali's preferred family grouping is between brothers and sisters, and they encourage humans to do the same. Also, [[spoiler:the HiddenElfVillage of fertile humans is incredibly inbred as a result of this. All its inhabitants are descendents of a single woman and a random man who raped her and was never seen again.]]
* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: The Oankali believe that humanity is doomed to destroy itself because of its contradictory traits - intelligence and hierarchical social structures.[[note]]Indeed, Oankali and their hybrid descendants can ''see'' this contradiction. A hybrid who argues for permitting a pure-human settlement on Mars does so knowing that the settlement ''must'', inevitably, destroy itself.[[/note]] The only solution is to correct it by breeding with the Oankali, removing the hierarchical instincts by genetic manipulation of the next generation.
* InterspeciesRomance: The Oankali really seem to genuinely love humanity.
* ItsWhatIDo: The Oankali in regard to interbreeding, genetic manipulation, and space travel. It's just something they're as compelled to do as humans are to breathing.
* LivingShip: Oankali ships are living organisms grown for the purpose.
* MeaningfulName: Lilith [[LampshadeHanging occasionally references]] her Biblical namesake, and how fitting it is that she should have it, given that she's demonized for "betraying" humanity.
* OnlyYouCanRepopulateMyRace: The human race, in this case. One hidden community is willing to take desperate measures to keep "pure" humans reproducing.
* OrganicTechnology
* {{Polyamory}}: Oankali relationships involve a human male and female, an Oankali male and female, and an ooloi, a third Oankali gender.
* RaceLift: The cover of the first paperback edition of vol. 1 (''Dawn'') depicted Lilith as white (but the ''other'' character in the scene exactly as described).
* ScrewYouElves: The Oankali are ''very'' certain of themselves and extremely frustrating to argue with, which makes it something of a relief when they're proved wrong, even if that being wrong has horrible consequences, and more of a relief when they at last agree to let a small amount of humanity survive untouched to find their own fates.
* SexualHarassmentAndRapeTropes: The Oankali are essentially raping humanity[[note]]they even use the "your mouth said no, but your body said yes" rationale, which may or may not hold water considering their whole ''thing'' is reading body language, pheremones, and other physiological things like humans would have a in-depth conversation[[/note]], so this goes through a few of them:
** RapeAsDrama: A lot of the humans don't take kindly to the treatment
** RapeIsLove: And some do...
** NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: Partly because the physical sensations are mindblowing.
** MindRape: Of a sort. Lilith mentions in a later book that if someone goes through the transformation stages of an Ooloi with them, they ''can't'' choose to leave them afterward.
** AliensMadeThemDoIt: ...with the aliens.
** RapePortrayedAsRedemption: Depending on how you look at it, for the whole human species.
* SomeoneToRememberHimBy: Nikanj manages to [[spoiler:save the sperm of Lilith's first mate from the ship after he is killed, and impregnates her with it years afterward]], despite originally telling her it would only last a few weeks. It's mentioned that another Ooloi figured out how to make it last indefinitely.
* {{Squick}}: In-universe version. Even the Oankali who are specifically engineered to look as human as possible look so ''alien'' that Lilith can't help but recoil in horror from them initially.
* StarfishAliens