Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

fledgling - Octavia Butler

For some reason it's taking me forever to finish a book lately. I'm so tired by the time I get home, that I'm ready for tv. We'll play an "old person's card" and chalk it up to the change in the weather.

I finally finished fledgling by Octavia Butler, which I learned about watching a HBO special before True Blood.

Fledgling centers around Shori, a 53 year old vampire, who wakes up hungry, alone and badly injured. Someone is targeting Shori's family and anyone who tries to protect her.
While Shori is a vampire (or Ina), she's also the product of genetic engineering. A mixture of human and vampire, it's believed her black skin and human DNA enable her to stay awake during the day and also go into the sunlight (although her exposed skin does burn).

I really found Butler's take on vampires interesting - unlike some books vampires can have children and mate, live in communities - men and women do live in separate communities and have a unique relationship with the humans surrounding them. Ina are bound to the humans they regularly take blood from and suffer a horrible loss if that human (symbiont) dies. This is a far cry from the dangerous, blood thirsty vampire who callously discards humans after feeding on them.

There were some parts of the book that dragged a little for me, but that might have been my reading state of mind. Overall, I found this an interesting take on vampires and a stirring look at racism and bigotry.

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