"This is one of the most emotionally difficult books I've ever read. Butler never flinches from uncomfortable ideas; she makes her readers work. Here she takes the real-world idea of parasitic organisms that change their hosts' behavior for their own ends, and invents a space-born version in order to ask not just what really makes us human? but what is valuable about our humanity? This is no book about triumph over adversity or the preservation of the planet. It's a book about sitting with change. And I think that's something more powerful."
A powerful story of survival in unprecedented times, from the award-winning author of Parable of the Sower.
In an alternate America marked by volatile class warfare, Blake Maslin is traveling with his teenage twin daughters when their car is ambushed. Their attackers appear sickly yet possess inhuman strength, and they transport Blake's family to an isolated compound. There, the three captives discover that the compound's residents have a highly contagious alien disease that has mutated their DNA to make them powerful, dangerous, and compelled to infect others. If Blake and his daughters do not escape, they will be infected with a virus that will either kill them outright or transform them into outcasts whose very existence is a threat to the world around them.
In the following hours, Blake and his daughters each must make a vital choice: risk everything to escape and warn the rest of the world, or accept their new reality -- as well as the uncertain fate of the human race.