Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of "otherness" and questions what it means to be truly human.
©2005 Octavia E. Butler; (P)2007 BBC Audio
Octavia Butler's insights into power, slavery, intimacy, and the role of sexuality in unequal relationships are unparalleled. And her insights are matched only by the narrative and erotic power of her writing. There's a reason that she's beloved by SciFi nerds, academics, and black power folks alike: she's the real deal.
The reader is also excellent--she does accents differently yet subtly.
Uncomfortable concept initially, but get over it and you will find a very engaging read. Hard to classify, but the courtroom drama aspect is extremely interesting. Octavia Butler operated outside the box, brought to light several mind expanding concepts, and leaves you wishing for a sequel which, unfortunately will not be available unless another author picks up the story.
i loved this book, not generally my style,but i loved it. gonna read everything she wrote in case there is another just as awesome
At first I simply thought the performance was bad--that the reading was stilted and unemotional, but actually the reader seems to have done her best with the material she was given. It's the novel itself that is bad. While the concept--vampires using genetic experimentation to add African traits to their genome in order to withstand daylight, and the racism that results from this choice--could have been fascinating, the execution of the book is dismal. The writing is stilted with no attention to style, there is too much direct explication, and the mystery aspect of the plot provides little suspense. By the end I just wanted it over. If you like the concept of this book, read a summary. Don't waste your time ploughing through the whole thing.
I love Octavia Butler. I have loved loved loved all the other books of her's I have read/listened to. This book, however, has sex between a child and adult men. Shori, the vampire, is said to be 53 years old. Fine, but she looks like an 11 year old girl, and by vampire standards, she is still immature - too young for mating. The vampires have a venum that bind and cause sexual arrousal in their human symbionts, but, despite this, both the adult human men in the story say they "wanted" her even before they were biten. The vampire males all seem to want her too, and even offer themselves to her. I found this nauseating aspect of the book too disturbing and repulsive and it ruined the entire thing for me. None of the story's redeming characteristics distracted me. I even started to skipped the sexually explicit scenes with the child and the adults, which to be often, but I couldn't improve my impression of this story. Not okay.
Science writer in America's heartland
Octavia Butler was such an amazing author, with several series of works that explored elements of race, sexuality, and technology. This book—sadly, her last—was clearly meant to be the start of a new series, as the ending is not completely resolved. Instead of using aliens as proxies for various aspects of humanity as she'd done before, Butler chose to populate this book with vampires who live among humans in bisexual polyamorous communes. Those aspects of the book are certainly provocative, but the true theme centers on genetic engineering, and the prejudice that the main character endures as a result of being made "different." Had Butler been able to write a sequel, I definitely would have wanted to read it.
During my commute Audible keeps me from going insane. I like books that keep my mind awake. No slow moving books here.
This book is still a great book for a person who has a long drive, can get past the thought of the main character looking like a 10-12 year old girl (while having a relationship with adult), and doesn't mind interesting twist on vampire lore. Also there are a lot of parallels to the Xenogenesis/Lilth's Broad series.
Meh.. The ending was a little flat. I was hoping to see how the main character develops beyond the child-like state.
She kept the story rolling.
I don't think the world is ready for a film for based on this book.
I have really liked previous books I've read by Octavia Butler, and had been looking forward to this one, but I just didn't like it. I'm not sure how much was the narration and how much was the story itself, but it just seemed really stilted and flat. This particular vampire concept was unique and interesting, but I was not able to muster any emotional attachment to any of the characters, or really believe the emotions that they were feeling. Very disappointing.
FLEDGLING is an excellent story with a new creative and innovative twist to an old favorite of Sci-Fi fans, the vampire. Ms. Butler certainly had an imagination that far exceeds others in her genre. I've enjoyed all of her books and she will certainly be missed.
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