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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why can't real life be like books?
I enjoyed this book right up til the end, when it just fizzled out. I wonder if Ms. Butler intended a sequel that was never written, which is unfortunate because the ending is so abrupt. It's really too bad.
This book reminded me strongly of the same alien-mind type of story so well written by Stephanie Meyer in "Host." If you enjoy this kind of book, I highly recommend it.
This is my all time favorite writer, the most original you will ever read. This story is one of her weakest however it holds together well enough that I have listened to it already several times. Well worth the money. Let's agitate to get her other stuff on audio!
The best way to explain this book is that it was as if it was written for a young adult audience (it's clearly not because the themes are mature) because the writing is very formal and unnecessarily repetitive. The dialog between the characters is unnatural. While the "universe" of vampires that was created by the author was fantastic, this particular story was not very interesting. The legal trial at the end was particularly boring.
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