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Fledgling

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  9,303 ratings  ·  1,302 reviews
Octavia Butler's first vampire novel in seven years was also, unfortunately, her final book: The first science fiction writer ever to receive a MacArthur Foundation Grant died early in 2006. Fledgling displays both her craft and her power to convincingly transform familiar mythic material. Certainly, he narrator fits no standard vampire profile: Shori Matthews is a gentle ...more
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Published December 1st 2007 by Audiogo (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Josh Peterson
my gran bought me this book, I wanted Fledgling Fledgling (Jason Steed, #1) by Mark A. Cooper as my friends at school all said how good it was. anyways, Gran bought it so I had to read it, it was very boring and slow not a good read. I have since read the real Fledgling Jason Steed book and i think it is nearly as good as Harry Potter, not as good because Harry Potter is my best series. ...more
Terry
3.5 – 4 stars

Another vampire book review from the guy who says he’s not a fan of vampires? Yeah, well I’m trying to find the good ones, not the dreck that’s jumped onto the Twilight bandwagon. And quite frankly I didn’t pick this one up because it was a vampire book per se, but because it was one by Octavia Butler, whose work I’ve been meaning to look into more, and this is the only stand-alone that I’m aware of. It turned out to be a good book, though there are some possibly ‘problematic’ issu
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jo
*** this review has spoilers that will do irreversible damage to those who have not read the book, is long, and is, i'm afraid, rather academic in tone, because i just think that way. be warned. ***





Fledgling opens with a birth scene of sorts. a little girl (we don’t yet know that she’s a little girl, but find out soon enough) wakes up in a cave in tremendous physical pain. her body is badly injured, more, we gather from the description, than a human being would be able to survive. she’s covered
...more
TheFountainPenDiva
Firstly, I wish there was a way to give this novel TEN STARS because like every single book she's ever written, it is a masterpiece of surperb writing, compelling characters and thought-provoking themes like sex, race and class - issues seldom dealt with in even the finest speculative fiction.

Only in the hands of a skilled author could new life be breathed into the quickly becoming stale vampire genre, and Ms. Butler succeeds where so many others fail. Anyone looking for Anne Rice will be sadly
...more
Catie
Imagine that you are driving home one day and come across an interesting looking person by the side of the road. You invite this person into your car and are immediately drawn to him or her in extreme ways – after only a few hours together, you want to sleep with this person, do everything that he or she says, and give up everything in your life to devote yourself to this person's needs.

You are attracted to this person above all others, and he/she can give you the greatest pleasure of your entir
...more
Ruth
Sep 26, 2008 Ruth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tenli
Octavia Butler is dead (in 2006, actually), long live Octavia Butler. There are few authors who have taught me more about what it means to be human.

Her stories don't teach with luxurious literary language or complex psychological portraits. The earlier novels are a little bit wooden, with characters that sometimes seem like cardboard cut-outs. But rarely have I found stories so LOADED down with ideas that there's barely time to explore one before the next one bursts upon me. Her stories teach th
...more
Sara
I just barely made myself finish this. I thought the writing style was fairly dull, the social observations not nearly as interesting or original as the reviews I read had suggested, and at least the edition I read was really poorly edited for typos and punctuation. I did a lot of eye rolling at this one.
Johanna
Oct 05, 2007 Johanna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vampire fans, people who aren't easily squicked out
The sad thing about this book is that it is very clearly supposed to be one in a series; unfortunately, Butler died after writing this book. That makes it hard to read because you immediately become attached to Shori, much like the people in the book become attached to her. This book is AMAZING. It introduces the Ina and by doing so, Butler created a new branch of vampire lore--vampires who are not evil, do not kill to feed, who live with families of several humans they feed on and who they love ...more
David
Octavia Butler was a genius who died far too young. In her too-short oeuvre are many classics of science fiction, Hugo and Nebula winners, all of them dealing with race and power and oppression in some way. Fledgling was (I think) her last book, or one of the last, and it's a fairly straightforward vampire story, except that as Butler handles it, the narrative is as deep and complicated as the story is simple.

Butler was not one of those writers who spent a lot of time crafting words, or if she d
...more
[Name Redacted]
Time to give Butler another chance! Will she manage to avoid the Manichaean "Male = Bad. Female = Good." dynamic of Wild Seed? Only time will tell! But this stand-alone novel is about vampires and fits in perfectly with my goal for October.

---

Well, a remarkable dearth of misandry! In its place was a really, really, really creepy story about how healthy and natural pedophilia can be. In context it makes sense, and technically the pre-pubescent girl was a 50 year-old member of an entirely differe
...more
Mark Oshiro
perhaps one of the best books I've EVER read. a stunning and haunting examination of race, gender, mental disability, and identity, it entirely re-invents vampire lore in a way that makes everything pale in comparison. there are a number of scenes that are downright terrifying. but what i loved about Fledgling the most was Butler's insistence on forcing our gaze onto many uncomfortable aspects of traditional vampire mythology – the sexualization of underage bodies, the paleness of all vampires e ...more
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
It depresses me that this book won't have a sequel and I won't get to see what happens to Shori and her people. It's a lot like the Xenogenesis series in terms of people going on about how good people smell and how alluring their scent is and the Ina depend on their symbiots the way the aliens in Xenogenesis depend on humans and find them fascinating and they are bonded chemically.

I wish I could write a sequel or something. I want more. More more more!
Kiri
Feb 20, 2009 Kiri rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kiri by: my sci-fi book club
Shelves: book-club
The most interesting thing about this book is its conception of "vampires" as a second intelligent species that lives in symbiosis with humans -- unable to "turn" them, naturally, since it's a species thing (as one character remarks, if a dog bites a man, no one expects the man to turn into a dog). The bite includes "venom" which has a strongly pleasurable (and addictive) effect on the person bitten.

The story revolves around Shori, a vampire who wakes up near death from burns and physical damage
...more
Sandi
Although this book really kept me turning the pages, I was ultimately disappointed. The books I've read by Octavia Butler have be so astounding, so creative and so unique that I expected more from this. It was a page-turner; the pacing was excellent. However, the story just wasn't as creative as I expected. I was also frustrated by the over-explanation of some things and the under-explanation of others. I was a bit creeped out that a vampire child with the appearance of a 9-10 year old human chi ...more
Shanae
I absolutely love Octavia Butler. She is by far one of the most captivating novelists I've experienced. And I say experience because each world she creates in her novel is like a mini-vacation -- a trip elsewhere, someplace fascinating, interesting, unbelievable and likely at the same time.

"Fledgling" is the story of a young, African American vampire hybrid with human qualities that morphs into a story about race, age, and sexism in this underground and unknown society in America, at least that
...more
helena
so i ordered two copies of this book in may of 2006 -- one for me, and one for my friend cyndi, who nurtures a guilty pleasure in science fiction and trashy vampire novels. i meant to give cyndi hers before she left for china, so she would have something to read on the plane. unfortunately, i forgot, so it will be a homecoming present for her when she returns later this week.

in may, i finally started reading my copy of 'fledgling,' which i consumed with the same voracious eagerness as the vampir
...more
Rita
*** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS ***
For a long time I have been wanting to read a novel by Octavia E. Butler. Her last book, Fledgling, somehow seemed to be the right first choice for me, as I've always had a thing for vampire-stories.

I ordered the book from a local book store and waited for days in eager anticipation for it's arrival. The book arrived and I read it. The first few pages seemed promising, for its premise was different than most other vampire books that I have read. The boo
...more
Schnaucl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kasia
It wasn't an easy read, pushed me out of my comfort zone. Yet, I found it rather and surprisingly profound (in an odd way). It's not a typical vampire flick, more like a Sci-fi/anthropology hybrid...
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 stars; A-

This is the first book I've read by Octavia Butler and I thought it was interesting and subtly compelling. I'm terribly disappointed that this author passed away quite young because she had a prodigious writing talent! The vampire world building was different from so much of what I've read in recent years. That alone kept me reading because I wanted to see what Butler would do with it.

But, as always, it was the characters that kept me firmly hooked. I was intrigued by Shori; her
...more
Sam Grace
The librarian pushed it on me when they didn't have the Parable of the Sower on hand. Why not?

--

Actually, I ended up deciding not to keep reading. Too much bad stuff for me to look past when I'm not totally hooked on the writing or the topics. Not enough for me to NOT recommend it, but not enough to keep me reading either.

--
It turns out that this book - young chick vampires - falls squarely into a genre I tend to really like. That she writes it more like traditional fiction only makes it better.
...more
Patricia Burroughs
This one took my breath away. By the time I finished the third chapter I was literally saying, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” out loud. If you've already read this, you may wonder why it took me so long to react, but believe me, I was pretty much kicked hard from the beginning. This is compelling reading, sometimes violent, and you have to have an open mind to read it. So be forewarned. On the other hand, the world-building is so amazing, the slow unfolding of the story so carefully-crafted, ...more
Alexis
The weather was nasty today, so it was a perfect day to lose myself into this science fiction vampire novel. Butler's vampire world is ruled by the Ina, a race that resembles the fictional vampire. Shori is a young vampire child who awakens at the beginning of the story with her memory wiped out. She finds out that her families have been destroyed, and she must learn who she is and how to take care of herself and reacquaint herself with her families and her tribe of symbionts who serve her and f ...more
Alysia
This is not my first book by Octavia Butler and I have to say it was not my favorite out of all the books of hers I've read.
A young looking girl wakes up in a cave with a unbearable hunger and no memory. With the body of a child Shori finds out her real age is 53 years old and she was apart of a "Ina" family who are no longer living. As she finds out what happened to her family she learns of her vampire abilities, history and her place in it all.
The overall premise of this book is really good a
...more
Martin Kee

While this book starts out strong, it quickly slips into long, drawn-out exposition on vampire politics, family history and mating habits. The writing, while clean, feels dry and flavorless. It was a struggle to get to the end.
aPriL does feral sometimes
I could not get over the 1. Child sex with adults, and 2. 'Beneficial' enslavement despite lack of free will or any impartiality being possible once enslaved. I finished this because I respect the author so much. She could not have written this to be her effort at writing pornography for deviants. It left a disgusting impression on me, though, and I won't read it ever again. I read it a couple of years ago, and I keep wavering between giving it one star because of my repugnance and five stars be ...more
Natasha Hurley-Walker
I don't read many vampire books, but thought I'd branch out given that I quite liked Butler's Parable of the Sower. I enjoyed both the book and the film of Let the Right One In so thought perhaps this would offer an insight into a rather different kind of vampire: American instead of Scandinavian; black instead of white; genetically engineered and modern instead of ancient and vaguely fairy-tale-esque. Unfortunately the premise rapidly degenerated into one of the blandest, least interesting plot ...more
Nikki
My first book of this readathon! Well, I was already partway through it, but I just finished it. It was a very good choice for the readathon, as well as for the train, so it served me well for both. It's easy to read -- something about Octavia Butler's style always strikes me like that: it goes down easy. There's something matter of fact about it, always. It suited Shori, in this story, suited the girl/woman she was supposed to be. It did feel quite like the narration of Kindred and Wild Seed, t ...more
Lina
Fledgling was a very hard book to get through. It was well-written and the story itself was not horrible, if a little drawn out at parts. No, the issue with this book that I had was the pedophilia.

Shori, the main character of the book, is an Ina (a type of vampire). Ina have a type of venom filled bite that makes humans lust after and eventually fall in love with them. In the book she has multiple sex scenes with men and women. Shori has the body of a 11-12 year old and despite being 50, by the
...more
Connie
Fledgling was not a comfortable book for me, but it was a good story. Shori is a young vampire (53 years old), but she looks like a 10 year old girl. This screamed to me that I should NOT be reading any sex scenes about this girl. Her numerical age says that she's mature enough, but her physical description says that she looks like someone's young daughter. Not only does she have one partner, but she has multiple and there isn't any differentiation of male or female sexual connection between her ...more
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Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.
More about Octavia E. Butler...
Kindred Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1) Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1) Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2) Wild Seed (Patternmaster, #1)

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