fledgling (Octavia Butler)


I picked up Octavia Butler’s last published work from Left Bank Books in Seattle, Washington. Butler, a resident of Seattle in the final years of her life, was a renowned author of science fiction (and remains so to this day).

Fledgling is a really interesting book. It’s smart and suspenseful, dealing with racism and discrimination in a unique and fantastical manner: through vampires. The novel tells the story of Shori, a human-Ina (Butler’s inventive version of the vampire) genetic experiment who is able to stay awake during the day and walk in sunlight. For much of the novel, Shori is embroiled in the mystery of who killed her families and why. Butler’s straightforward prose and creative ideas make the book a quick read that leaves you with plenty to think about.

I have only read one other work by Octavia Butler — her famous 1979 novel Kindred — but now that I’ve read a second work I’m eager to read more. I’d recommend this book very enthusiastically!

GOOD FOR:  People who like interesting spins on classical vampire mythology, those looking for a read that will leave them thinking, and anyone who enjoys creative conversations about race.

BAD FOR:  Anyone who is just sick to death of all-things-vampire, people looking for a light read, and readers in the market for a conventional vampire tale.

GOOD WITH:  KindredLet Me In, and possibly Ancient Blood or Blindsight (both of which supposedly deal with science and vampirism, but neither of which I have read).

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