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
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.
This book is something like The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest meets vampires. The way Butler introduces the characters and the world, through an amnesiac's eyes, it's done masterful storytelling. The mystery unfolds throughout the book and there's little I can say without spoiling it.
Great for action, suspense, mystery, and vampires!
The premise started out good but I was left uncomfortable with how easy it was for wright to have sex with a child. It never made sense. I hate to complain about narrators but the character voices were pretty bad - monotonous with bad accents. The writing seemed sophomoric - perhaps good if you don't want anything challenging
This book has outright pedophilia, not Lolita style creeping but a child seeking sex from adults and adults seeking sex from a child. Now some may say that "she is a 50 year old vampire" and yes that's true but she is a child in vampire or Aina (as they are called here) culture there fore she is a person who is a child in the context of her species and looks like a child in the context of human culture.
The humans recognize her as a child yet take the opportunity to have aggressive sex with her? At one point a male Aina (her own species) makes out with her even though she is no doubt a child in her own context so we can throw out the different culture excuse.
Also one of the male characters mentions the idea of being with an Aina male as gross because gay is icky but pedophilia is yay!?
I am sad because I really wanted to give Octavia Butler a chance in supporting a woman of color and now I'm weary of reading anything by her. This book is more explicit than Lolita and has more outright pedophilia than 1Q84, at least in Lolita you have an unreliable narrator and you can say it was all in his perverted head and in 1Q84 the pedophile is a crazy cult leader (no to mention the main character having sex with a teenager. Here we have situations where a child in any context is sexually pursued and yearned for and she in turn seeks it out as well.
Normalizing pedophilia.... nope, never. Stop it!
I think I could have enjoyed this book more without the cheesy voice changes the narrator did throughout the novel. It was really difficult to get through the book. The story itself is pretty good, and I wish I would have just bought a physical copy and read it myself. I would definitely never listen to a book read by this person again.
This, by far, is my favorite book from this author. It's such a shame that she's no longer with us. She was a brilliant writer.
A interesting spin on a vampire story. It uniquely creates a sub culture with details of a vampire society with a pecking order. It offers a glimpse into racism and prejudices from a unique perspective.
I love how Butler messes with traditional relationships, this was basically "the xenogenesis trilogy with vampires", which is much more attractive I think than the summary on the audible page.
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