Fledgling

( 114 )

Overview

Octavia E. Butler is one of the finest voices in fiction—period. . . . A master storyteller, Butler casts an unflinching eye on racism, sexism, poverty, and ignorance and lets the reader see the terror and beauty of human nature.-"The Washington Post Book World "Readers familiar with . . . "Parable of the Sower and "Bloodchild will recall that [Butler] never asks easy questions or settles for easy answers."-Gerald Jonas in "The New York Times "Fledgling, Octavia Butler's first new novel in seven years, is the ...

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Overview

Octavia E. Butler is one of the finest voices in fiction—period. . . . A master storyteller, Butler casts an unflinching eye on racism, sexism, poverty, and ignorance and lets the reader see the terror and beauty of human nature.-"The Washington Post Book World "Readers familiar with . . . "Parable of the Sower and "Bloodchild will recall that [Butler] never asks easy questions or settles for easy answers."-Gerald Jonas in "The New York Times "Fledgling, Octavia Butler's first new novel in seven years, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly unhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted-and still wants-to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. "Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of "otherness" and questions what it means to be truly human. Octavia E. Butler is the author of 11 novels, including "Kindred, "Dawn, and "Parable of the Sower. Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, and numerous other literary awards, she has been acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations that range from the distant past to the far future.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Octavia Butler's first vampire novel in seven years was also, unfortunately, her final book: The first science fiction writer ever to receive a MacArthur Foundation Grant died early in 2006. Fledgling displays both her craft and her power to convincingly transform familiar mythic material. Certainly, he narrator fits no standard vampire profile: Shori Matthews is a gentle 53-year-old, dark-skinned, amnesiac bloodsucker who looks like a 10-year-old girl. Shori and her fellow Ina vampires are more sinned against then sinning and might qualify as an endangered species if they didn't live for hundreds of years. One last masterpiece; highly recommended.
Ron Charles
How many of our happy relationships involve a degree of dominance or dependence that we can't acknowledge? This is Butler's typically insidious method: to create an alternative social world that seems, at first, alien and then to force us to consider the nature of our own lives with a new, anxious eye. It's a pain in the neck, but impossible to resist.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The much-lauded Butler creates vampires in her 12th novel (her first in seven years) that have about as much to do with Bram Stoker's Dracula as HBO's Deadwood does with High Noon. They need human blood to survive, but they don't kill unless they have to, and (given several hundred years) they'll eventually die peacefully of old age. They are Ina, and they've coexisted with humans for millennia, imparting robust health and narcotic bliss with every bite to their devoted human blood donors, aka "symbionts." Shori is a 53-year-old Ina (a juvenile) who wakes up in a cave, amnesiac and seriously wounded. As is later revealed, her family and their symbionts were murdered because they genetically engineered a generation of part-Ina, part-human children. Shori was their most successful experiment: she can stay conscious during daylight hours, and her black skin helps protect her from the sun. The lone survivor, Shori must rely on a few friendly (and tasty) people to help her warn other Ina families and rediscover herself. Butler, keeping tension high, reveals the mysteries of the Ina universe bit by tantalizing bit. Just as the Ina's collective honor and dignity starts to get a little dull, a gang of bigoted, black sheep Ina rolls into town for a species-wide confab-cum-smackdown. In the feisty Shori, Butler has created a new vampire paradigm-one that's more prone to sci-fi social commentary than gothic romance-and given a tired genre a much-needed shot in the arm. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Awaking blind, in pain, confused, and alone, Shori Matthews manages to survive amnesia and what should be crippling injuries and starts looking for answers-who hurt her, who she is, and where she comes from. She quickly learns that she is not a young human girl but a genetically altered vampire. Her black skin allows her to survive sunlight and remain alert during the day, but she faces grave danger from those threatened by her strength and heritage. Accompanied by several human hosts who feed and love her, Shori tries to protect her new family and friends from an increasingly hostile threat. Some readers may find Shori's sexual relationship with her adult hosts offensive, as she has the appearance of an 11-year-old girl. This is Nebula Award winner Butler's (Parable of the Sower) first novel in seven years; the conclusion suggests it is likely the start of a series. Recommended for all public libraries. [Butler's collection of short fiction, Bloodchild, will be reissued with two new stories in October.-Ed.]-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A little girl suffering from amnesia wakes to find that she's actually a middle-aged vampire, in this suspenseful novel from Butler, her first in seven years. Shori wakes up horribly injured and starving, knowing only that she needs to feed, preferably on blood, and that she doesn't necessarily want to kill anyone. Once she's drunk someone's blood-as quickly happens with Wright, a man who picks her up on the side of the road-that person becomes tied to her in a relationship that's closer to love than it is to slavery, though it's an uncomfortable mix of the two. Soon, Shori meets other vampires, a millennia-old race who call themselves the "Ina." She starts to drink the blood of humans (whom the Ina call "symbionts" and regard as their children, or lovers). She discovers that she's a unique Ina, the product of a genetic experiment using human DNA that makes her able to withstand sunlight (her African-American pigmentation helping her do so). This unique status appears to be why someone killed her Ina family and their symbionts, and why she is herself being hunted. Butler (Bloodchild and Other Stories, 1995, etc.) effortlessly navigates what are pretty queasy waters, what with Shori's frank and carnal relationship with her symbionts, complicated by her looking like a ten-year-old girl when in fact she's 53. Racist fears of miscegenation are also given an interesting spin in a story so convincingly told, via Butler's hardboiled yet emotional prose, that one is likely to forget it's about vampires. A finely crafted character study, a parable about race and an exciting family saga. Exquisitely moving fiction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446696166
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/2/2007
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 137,286
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

A writer who darkly imagined the future we have destined for ourselves in book after book, and also one who has shown us the way toward improving on that dismal fate, OCTAVIA E. BUTLER (1947–2006) is recognized as among the bravest and smartest of contemporary fiction writers. A 1995 MacArthur Award winner, Butler transcended the science fiction category even as she was awarded that community’s top prizes, the Nebula and Hugo Awards. She reached readers of all ages, all races, and all religious and sexual persuasions. For years the only African-American woman writing science fiction, Butler has encouraged many others to follow in her path.
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Read an Excerpt

Fledgling


By Octavia E. Butler

WARNER BOOKS

Copyright © 2005 Octavia E. Butler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-69616-1


Chapter One

I awoke to darkness.

I was hungry-starving!-and I was in pain. There was nothing in my world but hunger and pain, no other people, no other time, no other feelings. I was lying on something hard and uneven, and it hurt me. One side of me was hot, burning. I tried to drag myself away from the heat source, whatever it was, moving slowly, feeling my way until I found coolness, smoothness, less pain.

It hurt to move. It hurt even to breathe. My head pounded and throbbed, and I held it between my hands, whimpering. The sound of my voice, even the touch of my hands seemed to make the pain worse. In two places my head felt crusty and lumpy and ... almost soft. And I was so hungry.

The hunger was a violent twisting inside me. I curled my empty, wounded body tightly, knees against chest, and whimpered in pain. I clutched at whatever I was lying on. After a time, I came to understand, to remember, that what I was lying on should have been a bed. I remembered little by little what a bed was. My hands were grasping not at a mattress, not at pillows, sheets, or blankets, but at things that I didn't recognize, at first. Hardness, powder, something light and brittle. Gradually, I understood that I must be lying on the ground-on stone, earth, and perhaps dry leaves.

The worst was, no matter where I looked, there was no hint of light. I couldn't see my own hands as I held them up in front of me.Was it so dark, then? Or was there something wrong with my eyes? Was I blind?

I lay in the dark, trembling. What if I were blind? Then I heard something coming toward me, something large and noisy, some animal. I couldn't see it, but after a moment, I could smell it. It smelled ... not exactly good, but at least edible. Starved as I was, I was in no condition to hunt. I lay trembling and whimpering as the pain of my hunger grew and eclipsed everything.

It seemed that I should be able to locate the creature by the noise it was making. Then, if it wasn't frightened off by the noise I was making, maybe I could catch it and kill it and eat it.

Or maybe not. I tried to get up, fell back, groaning, discovering all over again how badly every part of my body hurt. I lay still, trying to keep quiet, trying to relax my body and not tremble. And the creature wandered closer. I waited. I knew I couldn't chase it, but if it came close enough, I might really be able to get my hands on it.

After what seemed a long time, it found me. It came to me like a tame thing, and I lay almost out of control, trembling and gasping, and thinking only, food! So much food. It touched my face, my wrist, my throat, causing me pain somehow each time it touched me and making noises of its own.

The pain of my hunger won over all my other pain. I discovered that I was strong in spite of all the things that were wrong with me. I seized the animal. It fought me, tore at me, struggled to escape, but I had it. I clung to it, rode it, found its throat, tasted its blood, smelled its terror. I tore at its throat with my teeth until it collapsed. Then, at last, I fed, gorged myself on the fresh meat that I needed.

I ate as much meat as I could. Then, my hunger sated and my pain dulled, I slept alongside what remained of my prey.

When I awoke, my darkness had begun to give way. I could see light again, and I could see blurred shadowy shapes that blocked the light. I didn't know what the shapes were, but I could see them. I began to believe then that my eyes had been injured somehow, but that they were healing. After a while there was too much light. It burned not only my eyes, but my skin.

I turned away from the light, dragged myself and my prey farther into the cool dimness that seemed to be so close to me, but took so much effort to reach. When I had gone far enough to escape the light, I fed again, slept again, awoke, and fed. I lost count of the number of times I did this. But after a while, something went wrong with the meat. It began to smell so bad that, even though I was still hungry, I couldn't make myself touch it again. In fact, the smell of it was making me sick. I needed to get away from it. I remembered enough to understand that it was rotting. Meat rotted after a while, it stank and the insects got into it.

I needed fresh meat.

My injuries seemed to be healing, and it was easier for me to move around. I could see much better, especially when there wasn't so much light. I had come to remember sometime during one of my meals that the time of less light was called night and that I preferred it to the day. I wasn't only healing, I was remembering things. And now, at least during the night, I could hunt.

My head still hurt, throbbed dully most of the time, but the pain was bearable. It was not the agony it had been.

I got wet as soon as I crawled out of my shelter where the remains of my prey lay rotting. I sat still for a while, feeling the wetness-water falling on my head, my back, and into my lap. After a while, I understood that it was raining-raining very hard. I could not recall feeling rain on my skin before-water falling from the sky, gently pounding my skin. I decided I liked it. I climbed to my feet slowly, my knees protesting the movement with individual outbursts of pain. Once I was up, I stood still for a while, trying to get used to balancing on my legs. I held on to the rocks that happened to be next to me and stood looking around, trying to understand where I was. I was standing on the side of a hill, from which rose a solid, vertical mass of rock. I had to look at these things, let the sight of them remind me what they were called-the hillside, the rock face, the trees-pine?-that grew on the hill as far as the sheer wall of rock. I saw all this, but still, I had no idea where I was or where I should be or how I had come to be there or even why I was there-there was so much that I didn't know.

The rain came down harder. It still seemed good to me. I let it wash away my prey's blood and my own, let it clean off the crust of dirt that I had picked up from where I had lain. When I was a little cleaner, I cupped my hands together, caught water in them, and drank it. That was so good that I spent a long time just catching rain and drinking it.

After a while, the rain lessened, and I decided that it was time for me to go. I began to walk down the hill. It wasn't an easy walk at first. My knees still hurt, and it was hard for me to keep my balance. I stopped once and looked back. I could see then that I had come from a shallow hillside cave. It was almost invisible to me now, concealed behind a screen of trees. It had been a good place to hide and heal. It had kept me safe, that small hidden place. But how had I come to be in it? Where had I come from? How had I been hurt and left alone, starving? And now that I was better, where should I go?

I wandered, not aware of going anywhere in particular, except down the hill. I knew no other people, could remember no other people. I frowned, picking my way among the trees, bushes, and rocks over the wet ground. I was recognizing things now, at least by category-bushes, rocks, mud ... I tried to remember something more about myself-anything that had happened to me before I awoke in the cave. Nothing at all occurred to me.

As I walked, it suddenly occurred to me that my feet were bare. I was walking carefully, not stepping on anything that would hurt me, but I could see and understand now that my feet and legs were bare. I knew I should have shoes on. In fact, I knew I should be dressed. But I was bare all over. I was naked.

I stopped and looked at myself. My skin was scarred, badly scarred over every part of my body that I could see. The scars were broad, creased, shiny patches of mottled red-brown skin. Had I always been scarred? Was my face scarred? I touched one of the broad scars across my abdomen, then touched my face. It felt the same. My face might be scarred. I wondered how I looked. I felt my head and discovered that I had almost no hair. I had touched my head, expecting hair. There should have been hair. But I was bald except for a small patch of hair on the back of my head. And higher up on my head there was a misshapen place, an indentation that hurt when I touched it and seemed even more wrong than my hairlessness or my scars. I remembered discovering, as I lay in the cave, that my head felt lumpy and soft in two places, as though the flesh had been damaged and the skull broken. There was no softness now. My head, like the rest of me, was healing.

Somehow, I had been hurt very badly, and yet I couldn't remember how. I needed to remember and I needed to cover myself. Being naked had seemed completely normal until I became aware of it. Then it seemed intolerable. But most important, I needed to eat again.

I resumed my downhill walk. Eventually I came to flatter, open land- farmland with something growing in some of the fields and other fields, already harvested or empty for some other reason. Again, I was remembering things-fragments-understanding a little of what I saw, perhaps just because I saw it.

Off to one side there was a collection of what I gradually recognized as the burned remains of several houses and outbuildings. All of these had been burned so thoroughly that as far as I could see, they offered no real shelter. This had been a little village surrounded by farmland and woods. There were animal pens and the good smells of animals that could be eaten, but the pens were empty. I thought the place must once have provided comfortable homes for several people. That felt right. It felt like something I would want-living together with other people instead of wandering alone. The idea was a little frightening, though. I didn't know any other people. I knew they existed, but thinking about them, wondering about them scared me almost as much as it interested me.

People had lived in these houses sometime not long ago. Now plants had begun to grow and to cover the burned spaces. Where were the people who had lived here? Had I lived here?

It occurred to me that I had come to this place hoping to kill an animal and eat it. Somehow, I had expected to find food here. And yet I remembered nothing about this place. I recognized nothing except in the most general way-animal pens, fields, burned remnants of buildings. So why would I expect to find food here? How had I known to come here? Either I had visited here before or this place had been my home. If it was my home, why didn't I recognize it as home? Had my injuries come from the fire that destroyed this place? I had an endless stream of questions and no answers.

I turned away, meaning to go back into the trees and hunt an animal- a deer, I thought suddenly. The word came into my thoughts, and at once, I knew what a deer was. It was a large animal. It would provide meat for several meals.

Then I stopped. As hungry as I was, I wanted to go down and take a closer look at the burned houses. They must have something to do with me or they would not hold my interest the way they did.

I walked down toward the burned buildings. I might at least be able to find something to wear. I was not cold. Even walking in the rain had not made me cold, but I wanted clothing badly. I felt very vulnerable without it. I did not want to be naked when I found other people, and I thought I must, sooner or later, find other people.

Eight of the buildings had been large houses. Their fireplaces, sinks, and bathtubs told me that much. I walked through each of them, hoping to see something familiar, something that triggered a memory, a memory about people. In one, at the bottom of a pile of charred rubble, I found a pair of jeans that were only burned a little at the bottoms of the legs, and I found three slightly burned shirts that were wearable. All of it was too large in every way-too broad, too long ... Another person my size would have fit easily into the shirts with me. And there were no wearable underwear, no wearable shoes. And, of course, there was nothing to eat.

Feeding my hunger suddenly became more important than anything. I put on the pants and two of the shirts. I used the third shirt to keep the pants up, tying it around my waist and turning the top of the pants down over it. I rolled up the legs of the pants, then I went back into the trees. After a time I scented a doe. I stalked her, killed her, ate as much of her flesh as I could. I took part of the carcass up a tree with me to keep it safe from scavenging animals. I slept in the tree for a while.

Then the sun rose, and it burned my skin and my eyes. I climbed down and used a tree branch and my hands to dig a shallow trench. When I finished it, I lay down in it and covered myself with leaf litter and earth. That and my clothing-I folded one of my shirts over my face- proved to be enough of a shield to protect me from sunlight.

I lived that way for the next three days and nights, eating, hunting, examining the ruin during the night, and hiding myself in the earth during the day. Sometimes I slept. Sometimes I lay awake, listening to the sounds around me. I couldn't identify most of them, but I listened. On the fourth night curiosity and restlessness got the better of me. I had begun to feel dissatisfied, hungry for something other than deer flesh. I didn't know what I wanted, but I went exploring. That was how, for the first time in my memory, I met another person.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler Copyright © 2005 by Octavia E. Butler. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 114 )
Rating Distribution

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(62)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 115 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    reprint of a terrific vampire tale

    She awakens feeling inside middle age, but looking preadolescent. Even more confusing is she suffers from amnesia and doesn¿t know why she is in this cave badly bruised and injured. Finally she is starving, but instinctively knows she must dine on human blood preferably without killing the host. --- Wright drives by, sees this young battered girl alone, stops and offers her a ride, which she accepts along with feeding from him. He stays at her side feeling compelled to do so as Shori meets other Ina almost like her and learns that humans like Wright are symbionts providing their nourishment. However, she also finds out how unique she is even amongst the vampiric Ina as she is the result of a genetic experiment using African-American human DNA that enables her to withstand sunlight, why her family was murdered and that a predator seeks to finish the job by killing her and her new symbiont. Survival is her only objective. --- FLEDGLING is a reprint of a terrific vampire tale that provides a deep look at family, race relationships, and sexuality yet is loaded with action. Shori holds the tale together as she learns who she is and why someone wants her dead. Though some readers might have issue with a fifty-three years old female who looks like she is ten or eleven years old (Ina age slower and live longer) having adult relationships, Octavia E. Butler writes a thought provoking character driven relationship allegory. --- Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    My Book Club Didn't Give it a Chance...

    I'm putting up this review mainly for my book club, because they gave up on this book too soon. It takes a minute to get through the first few chapters, but once it hits page 50 or so, it begins to develop a good stride.

    Yes, it starts slow (a little too slow for my book club, apparently), but once you meet the "Ina," which is their name for the vampires in the book, you'll see a whole new community. Shori is a 53-year-old vampire, but in the book, she looks like a kid, although her speech and actions are that of a much older woman. Since the vamps (excuse me...Ina) live to be over 500 years old, technically, she still IS a child. Her family has been destroyed, their homes burnt to the ground, and Shori almost doesn't make it. She regains consciousness in a cave with a severe case of amnesia, and that's where the story begins, which is why it starts off so slow. Where am I? Who am I? What am I? What is this place? And on and on; the disorientation Shori experiences is poignant, but the author drags it out a little too long. However, once she meets Wright, a human who helps her, Shori begins a journey that will culminate in her meeting new people and some distant family members who will help her develop into a proud female Ina. And the people who killed off her family are brought to justice by the "Council of Judgment," which is pretty self-explanatory.

    There is quite a bit of tension, some surprises, and it's a pretty good storyline that one can follow, after they get past those first few chapters. All-in-all, it was a decent read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2011

    Absolutely worth it!

    This is one of my new favorite authors. Definite twist to the usual vampire stories. A must read:)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2013

    March 14, 2013 Fledgling As I was reading Fledging, I continual

    March 14, 2013

    Fledgling As I was reading Fledging, I continually hoped that i would honestly enjoy it, but as i came to the end of the book i was just completely utterly dissapointed. 
    Fledgling is a book by Octavia E. Butler and it’s about  little black girl who looks like a 10 year old girl but she is really a 53 year old Ina. The Ina are a different type of species and race. Shori wakes up in a cave with burn wounds all over her body, part of her skull is broken, and she has this unbearable pain for hunger with no memory of her life before the murder of her family and attempt of murder on her. Shori eventually runs into a human named Wright who she then begins a relationship with. On her journey Shori learns a bit more about her culture and she gains symbionts who she feeds off of. Shori then seeks justice for her family and discovers the shocking truth about an issue they only believed to be a problem of a long time ago and only for humans, racism and prejudice. The theme of the book is that your skin tone doesn't matter, how you are as a person does. The plot has a good beginning to it but then it just dies off. It captured my attention with the multiple escapes from the fires but once she finds safety with other Ina, it is predictable. There was no way anyone couldn't figure out what was going to happen. There is no longer any plot twists once Shori and her symbionts reach safety. Once she is safe with other Ina then it is stops being riveting and by the last two chapters I had to force my way through it just so I can finish it. It gets very dull. It had so much potential to be good, it is science fiction book. I love science fiction and so I enjoyed the story of the Ina but that is only because it is science fiction.  The characters in this book are not as strong as they should be. Shori is a unique character who is intelligent and smart. However I cannot relate to her in any way, Shori is so different from anyone I know that she is hard to relate to. Also she never says she loves Wright even if he does tell her he loves her multiple times in the book. It is contrived when Wright did not turn Shori into the authorities or get her some help when he spots her on the side of the road right after she leaves the cave. He should have called the cops once he was aware she was not hurt. The fact that Shori looks like an 11 year old is strange because she starts a relationship with Wright who is a 23 year old. Octavia E. Butler does a very good job using imagery in her writing. She paints great images in my head and constantly describes her surroundings. However there are mistakes throughout the book. By the end of the book there are multiple places near the end of the book where they forget to put spaces in between the word and the names. It doesn't really take away from the story but it makes me feel as if the editor and publisher wanted the book out but did not care about how good it was, they knew Octavia Butler’s fans would follow her books.I expected a lot from this book since Octavia Butler is known as a great African American science fiction writer. But Octavia did her job and informed people that racism is still an issue. It deserves three out of five stars. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2013

    Fledgling is the type of book that with its twisted













    Fledgling is the type of book that with its twisted plots pulls the reader into a world that they thought they knew. There something creepy about this book yet it undeniably hooks the reader.   




    In the book Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler tells the story about a young girl who faces a lot of difficulties in her life after a massacre that destroys her families community. Shori is a young girl who is half human half Ina,which is a vampire race. She is only half human because of the genetic engineering that her family preformed on her, it seems that she has gotten herself some enemies. As Butler tells the story of Shori and her symbionts, the humans that she uses for her blood supply while giving them love and affection in return she slowly unites human history to the plot of the story. Butler uses these creatures to illustrate the two topics that would never be found in a vampire love story: racism and the hidden side of human nature that had been spun so perfectly well into this story that it might be hard to imagine that this book isn't an actual history book of our world.




    In the beginning of the book we are first introduced to Shori who seems to be lost and badly injured. She couldn’t remember who she was or what had happened to her. As Shori starts to look around to where she had woken up she meets a guy named Wright. After helping Shori out Wright then becomes bound to her forever. By biting him and taking his blood she unintentionally drags him into a world he's never knew existed that she had yet to relearn about. Shortly afterwards, Shori meets up with her father through unusual circumstances and then he is taken away from her just as she was about to relearn about her history and her kind. She then bands with her future mates family and works on finding those who took away her family. Using the Ina system for justice a trial is underway to convict those who took her family. In this book the characters are very complex, unique, and likeable even if it might be hard to  relate to them. 




    Butler is trying to convey to the reader the racism and the hidden side of human nature in our modern world. She uses Shori and the Ina community and lifestyle to portray these two topics. The one that she is most focused on is racism. Since Shori is not a pale skinned Ina and instead is black she is not accepted by her own kind. While the idea of her being a darker complexion than other Ina vampires was so that future generations cannot burn in the sun as easily as those with fair skinned she is still targeted by certain Ina families who went out of their way to harm her. The hidden side of human nature is shown through the way the Ina families wanted to harm those who looked different from them. This demonstrates how we as humans are always afraid of accepting those who are different and so we tend to discriminate and harm instead of accepting the diversity that surrounds us.




    In Fledgling, Butler used flowing imagery to make the reader feel as if they can see, touch, and feel what is happening in the story as the plot unravels through Shori’s narration. She brings out the characters using their dialogue which helps the reader get a better sense of the characters personality throughout the many emotions they express in the story. The thought that went into strategically bringing up the history of the Ina makes a must read book because the reader feels as if they are being showcased the Ina culture one part at a time.  It also relates to Shori’s growth in the book as she embarks on the path to find out who she really is and where she will get to in life.




    While this story might seem disturbing Butler is trying to convey the real issues in our society and what better way to do that that then with a story topic of today, Vampires! She chooses an unconventional vampire story to get our attention and through the story she gives us an insight into our complex world and the problems that she wants us to recognize. It also prompts us to think about what we are given to read which is how we can come to the conclusion on what she is trying to express in her writing. I give this book 4 stars out 5. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Fledgling Vampires are scary but interesting creatures. Are

    Fledgling




    Vampires are scary but interesting creatures. Are they human? Where do they come from? Could humans destroy them? 
    Fledgling is a novel written by Octavia E. Butler. This book is about a vampire girl named Shori, she wakes up in a cave not knowing who she is or where she comes from or what had happened to her. Shori gets help from a guy named Wright and he finds himself in love with Shori just 3 days after he found her and says he would do anything for her.
    Fledgling is a riveting story and is full of plot twists. As I read the book I enjoyed the novel because I felt that the author did a great job on introducing the characters and the problems that they all were facing. I really liked how the characters helped each other to solve and find out the cause of the problems throughout the story. The author did a great job with the main character because she is kind of scary, she is a girl who seems to be ten years old but in reality she is fifty three years old, she is clever and very strong. I would say that the story is also cliche because I’ve seen it before in Twilight, the human falls in love with the vampire and the vampire tries as hard as he can to protect them from any danger. Fledgling is very different in many ways, it has plot twists and it is authentic to the point where you can’t stop reading.
    The characters in this story are very different from each other. Some are vampires/ Ina (a type of vampire who can feed from human beings without killing them or convert them into vampires), some others are human and some others are half human and half vampire which makes them all very unique. It makes them unique because they are genetically modified so, they can walk out in the sun and not worry about burning as quickly as full Ina’s would.  All of these characters come together to find out who is responsible for the murder of other Ina families. I feel like we could relate to one or maybe two of the characters based on their personalities and how they contributed to the story, their actions.
    The descriptive imagery of the novel was really good, as I read we could picture the scenes and at times it was very corny or explicit but helpful to understand what was happening. There was a lot of dialogue throughout the story which made it seem like it was authentic and I really enjoyed that because we could totally feel the tone of the story. There wasn’t much figurative language in the book, it was mostly dialogue and the figurative language was kind of hard to find. There are very few chapters with figurative language. 
    In conclusion, I would like to give five stars to the novel Fledgling because the story is different from other vampire stories and it has many plot twists. I would like to recommend this novel to people who like vampire fiction.

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  • Posted March 14, 2013

    In her final novel Fledging, Octavia E. Butler creates a









    In her final novel Fledging, Octavia E. Butler creates an engaging novel involving the supernatural and the romance of vampires.
    Fledging opens with a 10 or 11 year old  little girl who wakes up in a cave with tremendous physical pain. Part of her skull is broken, she has multiple burn wounds on her body. And she's naked. As the story continues on we find out that she is an African-American girl, and is actually a 53 year old member of a race and species called "Ina", or vampires. The Ina depend humans to survive. The humans and Ina have a symbiotic relationship. When the Ina’s venom goes into the humans blood it boosts up their immune systems and promotes their lives to almost 200 years. The author attempts to make racism, human dependencies the purpose of this novel, but i sadly did not catch on to it. 
    The plot of this novel is very riveting but yet predictable. If i wasn't so into Twilight then maybe i could truly be into this book. There were some parts of the book where i continually kept wanting to know more. And then there were parts of the book where i could relate it back to Twilight. Well, they both do have vampires as their main characters. Also, there was always some unnecessary dialogue or explaining.
    The characters in the book start off with Shori, the main character, is not really ten: she's 53, and she's a vampire. But she has the body of a ten-year-old girl and she has no memories and does not even know what she is. She is genetically modified, meaning she is able to walk out in sunlight unlike any of her kind. Shori soon meets Wright, who is Shori’s “first” was just a regular guy, going to work everyday until he stumbled upon Shori and she bit him and now they are both dependent upon each other. Another main character(s) is the Gordon Family, they are another community of Ina. They take Shori and her family in when trouble is constantly behind her. They help her find justice for the murders of the women and male communities of her family. Personally, i don't think any of these characters are relatable. i think they are weird. A 23 year old man having sex with an 11 year old  girl . I don't think so. Thats just disgusting. 




    The prose was surprisingly pedestrian but the subject matter not; the serviceable language never detracted from the thought-provoking storyline. It was also very flowy. 




    Overall, i rate this novel a 3 1/2 .  This novel definitely has its interesting and engaging scenes but sadly its predictable. i would honestly rather read Twilight, at least i would actually  be interested in reading the book.

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    Imagine waking up in a cave, alone, injured, and not knowing how

    Imagine waking up in a cave, alone, injured, and not knowing how you got there. That is how we are introduced to Shori, the main character in Octavia Butler's Fledgling. On the outside, Shori appears to be a young preteen girl. In actuality, she is a 53 year old Ina vampire. Shori journeys outside of the cave to find a community that has been burned to the ground. She's assumes that this community was once her home. Lost and hungry, Shori begins walking away from the rubble, down a lonely highway. The stranger that picks her up is oblivious to the change that both of their lives are about to undergo. I really enjoyed this novel as it is not your average vampire novel. Its hard for me to fit it into any one genre. I would say it has elements of mystery, paranormal romance, and even a little history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Incredible!!!!"

    This my new favorite book!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Wonderful and shocking.

    It took me a moment to get past the idea that this very young vampire was engaging in very adult behavior. But once you wrap your head around it I do believe this will be added to my "short list" of favorites. It is an excellent read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Good Read

    I typically enjoy Octavia Butler's work. This was an interesting take on vampires.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very Interesting

    Fledgling was not at all what I expected but I did enjoy it. A very different take on vampires but a good one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2011

    Loved it!!

    I have had a hard finding another vampire novel that i could compare to The House of Night series, I so dearly love. This was it. I tend to get bored of same ol' old fashioned boring vampire novels. This was different as well, and kept my interest fully. Had great twists, and kept me cativated. Wonderful book, I highly recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2011

    WOW!!

    This was a really good read. I couldn't believe how attached I became as I read it. I love all things vampire anyway, but this was a terrific turn on the history and makings of a vampire and the vampire world. I really enjoyed reading about the journey of this one girl struggling to come to terms with herself and her past. I wish the author had written a series on this during the time that it was published. I would have liked to have known the differnt things Shori would have learned and how great she would have become. In my head she would have been deemed Queen of all Ina! If you want something different, this is it!

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  • Posted January 19, 2011

    great read ...

    im not heavy into scifi or vampire tales, but i highly enjoyed this book

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    ok read

    im a huge fan of butlers but this wasnt as interesting as kindred or the first book of lilith's brood, but i got through it . its no twilight or harry potter. this copy had numerous errors which bothered me. overall it wasnt too bad.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    nice

    its sounds intresting and its very good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2010

    This book when finished, you still wonder, what the charters are doing, because they become so real.

    one word outstanding!!!

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    very original take

    I loved this book, it was such a different take on the vampire genre. It dealt with genetical science which was intruiging for me and it had the love story and the passion and action I can't say enough about liking this book, I've read quite a few of Octavia's other books but this was the one that snatched me out of reality and made me want to stay in that world. If only she had lived long enough to write some sequels for fledgling, really quite sad she passed.:(

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  • Posted June 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent book

    I really enjoyed Fledgling. The plot is truly original - a unique take on vampires. The characters are engaging and the story moves quickly.
    I was sorry to learn that Octavia Butler has died. I would have loved to read more books about these characters.

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