Fledgling by Octavia Butler begins in Washington with a young African-American girl, who has lost her memory, being sort of rescued by a man that I would tell my children to stay away from. The man, Wright, could be a creeper. However, the girl is not an ordinary girl. She is really a 53 year old vampire in the body of a 10 year old.
The reader will learn later that the vampire’s name is Shori. The vampires in this novel are different than the usual vampires. They are born like humans rather than turned into vampires. They grow at a slower pace than humans, which is why Shori appears to be a young girl instead of a middle-aged woman.
There is a family structure that is like living on a commune, except that the mother’s family and the father’s family live in different areas. Shori is the last living member of her family. Her family was targeted because they figured out that melanin can help vampires to stay out in the sun.
So the enemy vampires are racists. How is Shori going to deal with racist vampires?
The book is wonderfully written. It is so imaginative. I love the retelling of what it means to be a vampire. However, the sex scenes are horribly uncomfortable. I have been trying to avoid writing this post all day because the feelings that I have about the book are complicated. How can it be a great book but I feel like I need to take a shower after reading it? This book has been nominated for literary awards. So it’s sort of like Lolita in that way. It’s a great book and it will make people uncomfortable.
I’m not sure exactly who will enjoy Fledgling. I’m pretty sure that racist vampires will not be fans.
Spooktober Readathon prompt: Read a horror by a female author