Fledgling By Octavia E. Butler………..

About two weeks ago I picked up “Fledgling” from the local library. I had previously read the blog post over at www.womanist-musings.com early this year about this book. I had been aware of Ms. Butler’s writing but I can’t say I’m a huge sci-fi fan. I won’t even attempt to get deep into the realm of the social issues that ran rampant throughout the book. I’ll just stick to my opinion of the story and what I was expecting. I had no prior knowledge of Ms. Butler’s writing style, I had never read any of her books although I had received recommendations to read other works she had written. I am a big fan of vampire stories, I even let myself read a few Vampiric romance novels over the summer. What better mix than sex and vampires, right?

When I picked up “Fledgling” I knew it was a vampire novel, and that’s why I chose it as my first book to read in the collection. It’s a stand alone novel and a very simple story about losing everything and starting over. The story centers around Shori, who is a 53-year-old child vampire. She was not bitten in the traditional sense to change into a vampire, this is the way she was born. Technically she is not fully a vampire because she is half human. I suppose you can say Shori, is a biracial child although she physically looks to be Black. What I gathered from the book the vampires only seem to be White and from Eastern Europe.  Shori, wakes up in a cave without any sense of who she is. She meets a guy named Wright who I assumed to be older than his 23 years but he isn’t. Oh, let me not forget. Shori looks like an 11-year-old child, she is not some woman/child hybrid. She looks like a child, is considered a child by all standards both Ina/Human.(The Ina are Vampires). Shori, really gets her freak on throughout the book. The sexualization of Shori was odd and a bit bothersome as I continued to read the book. I honestly wanted to return the book but I have a habit of finishing everything I start even if it feels like I’m plucking my eyebrows off hair by hair.

Shori, has been wronged in many ways. Her entire family is murdered, her mother, father, brothers, sisters, and symbionts. The Symbionts are the people bound to a specific Ina through the exchange of blood and chemicals. Once they were bound to an Ina they will literally die without them.(eye-roll) I really wanted to like this book and fall in love with the characters. It just read like a newspaper story or some historical text in school. I was left with a lot of questions about the characters and the history of the Ina cultures. I tried to get a few friends to read it with me but the one that went to check it out of the library gave up on it within the first two chapters. I want to give a further critique of the book but I just don’t want to waste anymore time on this one. Next week I’ll cover More Tales of the City.

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