Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

                She woke up alone in a cave. Her body was badly burned and scarred. She couldn’t see. An animal came to her in the cave, she killed it and fed on it, barely remembering after that moment. Time was something that passed unacknowledged. When she was finally able to leave the cave, she found herself wandering aimlessly only to end up at the ruins of homes burned to the ground. And though she felt drawn to the place she didn’t know why. She had no memory of her former self. Then Wright found her, walking in the rain, looking like a 10-year-old child. She fed on him. He would become her first. In time she would discover that she was an Ina, what humans called vampires. But she was the first of her kind with her brown skin and ability to walk in daylight.
                This was Octavia E. Butler’s last novel and it was the beginning of something special. I’ve heard rumors that this book was supposed to be the beginning of a new series and I wish it had been. This was such an interesting and in depth look at a society of vampires known as Ina. They were responsible for much of the lore and mythology known surrounding vampires. They had human companions known as symbionts because of their mutually symbiotic relationship. There was an ancient power structure in place, that all members of the community respected and adhered to along with a cohesive family unit. Butler did what she does best in creating a very interesting society with very detailed world building. This story is told entirely in first person with a young Ina, suffering from amnesia, who is trying to learn about herself and her community while being the first of her kind. Shori, as we come to know her by, is an extremely well written character whose journey the readers feel like they are a part of. This book kept my interest and kept me guessing the entire time.
                As interesting as this book was, it isn’t my favorite Butler novel. I definitely still recommend it because it is so well written and would definitely have been a great start to the series. It did though get repetitive which is the result of Shori having amnesia and constantly having to reiterate that. I could only imagine how extensive this world would have been in Butler’s hands. It's definitely a series I would have been interested in continuing to read. I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.


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