Kelly Roll's Reviews > Fledgling

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
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's review
Sep 27, 2008

liked it
Read in October, 2008

Octavia has taken the general idea of a vampire and has added her own spin to it. Vampires (Ina) have learned to live with humans in a symbiotic relationship. Shori the heroine in the book is a biological experiment. She is part human, part Ina. She is able to function during the day because her human DNA was from a black mother and the melatonin protects her at least partially. Other Ina, like their human counterparts are racially prejudiced and attempt to destroy Shori.
Butler's sociological concepts of sexuality, what constitutes a family/community, are individuals in a submissive position really happy are intriguing but...
I found the ending abrubt and I felt she could have explored some of her themes more thoroughly. At one point one of the human symbionts mentioned that he initially left the Ina as he felt the relationship between Inas and humans to be too much like slavery but then Butler never really elaborates on that statement. She also discusses that symbionts are explicitly told what they will be getting into and are offered the option to leave, the inference to me being that they are mature enough to explain this but surely the children also have symbionts and would initially be too young to understand or explain this to a potential human symbiont.

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