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Fledgling | [Octavia E. Butler]

Fledgling

Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler's final novel, is the story of a young amnesiac girl whose inhuman 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 learn who wanted to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself.
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Publisher's Summary

Fledgling, the late Octavia E. Butler's final novel, is the story of a young amnesiac girl whose alarmingly inhuman 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 learn who wanted 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.

©2005 Octavia E. Butler; (P)2007 BBC Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (211 )
5 star
 (92)
4 star
 (53)
3 star
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4.0 (118 )
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Story
4.2 (118 )
5 star
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4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Laura EVERETT, WA, United States 05-13-11
    Laura EVERETT, WA, United States 05-13-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    95
    ratings
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    "Child in sexual situations"

    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.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. W. Dammeron Valley, UT, USA 09-15-08
    B. W. Dammeron Valley, UT, USA 09-15-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Unusual Concept, Very Good Read"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 12-08-10
    Tammy Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 12-08-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    "different"

    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

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriele portland, OR, United States 06-26-10
    Gabriele portland, OR, United States 06-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "Octavia Butler is a genius"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Lutz, FL, United States 03-18-13
    Amy Lutz, FL, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Great concept, poorly written"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Orlando, FL, USA 05-01-09
    Betty Orlando, FL, USA 05-01-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "NEW TWIST ON AN OLD STORY***VAMPIRE"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawna M Silver Spring, MD United States 04-21-14
    Shawna M Silver Spring, MD United States 04-21-14 Member Since 2014

    During my commute Audible keeps me from going insane. I like books that keep my mind awake. No slow moving books here.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    8
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    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting But Not As Compelling Other Stories"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Meh.. The ending was a little flat. I was hoping to see how the main character develops beyond the child-like state.


    What about Tracey Leigh’s performance did you like?

    She kept the story rolling.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't think the world is ready for a film for based on this book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Winder, GA, United States 01-12-12
    Kristi Winder, GA, United States 01-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't like it"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyahgirl Alberta 07-17-14
    Kyahgirl Alberta 07-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "An Intriguing Vampire story."


    This is the first book I've read by Octavia Butler and I thought it was interesting and subtly compelling. I'm terribly disappointed that this author passed away quite young because she had a prodigious writing talent! The vampire world building was different from so much of what I've read in recent years. That alone kept me reading because I wanted to see what Butler would do with it.

    But, as always, it was the characters that kept me firmly hooked. I was intrigued by Shori; her history, her personality, and her ethics. The author aptly named this book 'Fledgling' because Shori really was like a newborn babe in so many ways yet so mature and developed in others. The other characters I really liked were Wright, Theodora, and Daniel.

    This book was a bit slow to get into for me but every time I started thinking I needed a bit 'more', the story went to a new level and gave more. Butler built her world without any obvious info-dumps or long winded descriptions.

    I both listened to the audiobook and read the paperback. Tracey Leigh did a solid job of narrating a story that had many different female and male characters. I would gladly listen to her narrate more stories.

    I am happy to note that I have several books by this author waiting in my TBR. I look forward to reading more by her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherron E. Allen-woods USA 08-24-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "A fantastic story"
    What made the experience of listening to Fledgling the most enjoyable?

    The narrator tells the story with great intensity. I felt transported
    Into another realm.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was Shorie. . I really liked how she described sensory
    Experience.


    Which character – as performed by Tracey Leigh – was your favorite?

    Shorie


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Best vampire story ever told.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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