To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Fledgling: A Novel Hardcover – October 4, 2005
|New from||Used from|
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
In Butler's other fiction, she has often concerned herself with themes of prejudice and power and, just as often, transformation. In taking on the vampire theme, she certainly allows these interests full development. Obviously, she also takes some unexpected twists in her vampires, drawing on familiar images of the (sub) genre, but taking them in fresh and interesting directions.
Take, for example, themes of transformation. Typically, the vampire narrative concerns a protagonist going through "the change," embracing a new (un)life and letting go of his or her former humanity/mortality. Butler has certainly explored the theme of bodily transformation in other novels (e.g. Clay's Ark or the Xenogenesis series, to name a few). The vampires in Butler's novel, however, are a separate species on earth, co-evolved with humanity and full of their own laws and culture. Collectively, they call themselves "Ina."
While they live in a mutually symbiotic relationship with (some) humans, they cannot transform humans into Ina. The Ina have their own careful and intricate systems of reproduction, which shape and guide their culture. Transformation in this novel has more to do with the Ina's interest in genetics, a study some of them have been pursuing long before it interested humans.Read more ›
Since the plot is well covered in the description and by other reviewers, I will simply give my own brief impressions of the book.
Ms. Butler has always excelled at telling great stories while making significant social commentaries about our world, and "Fledgling" in no exception. Issues of race and genetic engineering are at the forefront of this tale, and the unique way Butler deals with these issues here is handled skillfully, albeit not so subtly, as some readers might prefer. But then Octavia Butler was always an author who tackled such social commentaries within her writings head on, while stil creating a compelling read.
For me, the story is at its best the first half to two-thirds of the book, when Shori and her symbiots are on the run from the mysterious assailants who are on her trail. But the story seems to flatten out once she finds a safe haven and begins to learn who may be responsible for the murder of her families.
The story becomes more about revealing the ins and outs of the Ina culture, the vampire like race to which Shori belongs. Even the death of someone close to Shori, and the eventual "showdown" between Shori and the guilty party, lack (for want of a less punny word) bite. I just felt more like an observer to the events and not emotionally involved in them. I believe this is due to the lead character's memory loss, which has left her far less emotionally affected by the tragic events around her. And what strain she does feel are more told than shown in any empathetic fashion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really great vampire story set in modern times. Butler is an excellent writer.Published 6 days ago by Darla Berry
Ms Butler, who died some years ago of ovarian cancer, was the best writer of her generation. I miss her.Published 14 days ago by Sandy Ricket
Loved this book. Couldn't (didn't want to) put it down, but I also didn't want it to end. Love how she handled dialog and prose. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Pixel Pusher
This book was amazing! I am sad that Octavia Butler passed away shortly after this was published as it would have made for a wonderful series. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Brianna Hameed
I don’t want to give too much about the book away because it plays with your expectations at every turn, but if you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or True Blood, you’ll love... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Benjamin Gorman
Typically of Ms. Butler's work, Fledgling has you wanting to get your hands on the sequel as soon as possible. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Barbara Ransom
A breath of fresh air in this genre. Her stories, while fantastical, are so good because they are ultimately about relationships. Her writing is straightforward and realistic. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D.C. Thrasher
I'm a huge fan of Octavia Butler, though her writing can make me squirm at times. This was the last of her novels I hadn't read, so I started it, not even knowing what it was... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Letty