My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve always enjoyed Octavia Butler’s novels. I actually haven’t read very many, I read the “Lilith Brood” series when I was in high school. I just remember being struck by how uniquely creative the world that Ms Butler had created was. I also enjoy the distinctly “Black” perspective she portrays in her writing. I loved that because you didn’t really get that in many stories back when these novels were first published.
Anyway, I digress. I was intrigued to get the audio for Fledgling because of an article I read on flavorwire.com about “10 great science fiction books for people who don’t read sci-fi”and of all of her novels Fledgling was on this list. To be honest I was surprised by 2 things: 1) that the book wasn’t “Kindred” (a novel I’ve been wanting to read for a long time – the one she’s most famous for writing) and 2) Fledgling is a vampire novel.
I’m going to start off by saying that vampire novels don’t attract me in any way. I only read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight because I was desperate to understand what all the hype was that made this woman an over night sensation. But, I had such fond memories of Octavia Butler’s story telling that I decided to give Fledgling a shot.
Let me tell you, I was not disappointed at all. I’m may not be the right person to say this since I don’t read vampire novels, but I really thought that Ms. Butler’s take on vampires was a very fresh one. These aren’t evil, kill-all-humanity vampires, but a race of people who are just trying to live in the world. They live in communes with “human symbionts.” These vampires have most of the attributes that we think about when we hear vampire, but they aren’t stereotypically violent or blood-thirsty.
We follow the main character, Shori, as she recovers from a tragic event and we learn as she does about what and who she is. We learn that the main character is different from other Vampire or Ina, as they call themselves.
What I liked most about the way this story was told is that I felt like I understood Shori every moment of her struggle to figure out who she was and I enjoyed the new take on what Vampires are and I like how Shori is a “genetic experiment.” It brought a different perspective that I enjoyed. I was sad when the book was over.