Top positive review
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Highly believable modern vampire story
on 29 October 2006
Not sure where Amazon got the book description, but it appears to refer to a completely different item (presumably "Bloodchild", since it makes reference to a short story collection). "Fledgling" is a novel, Butler's first for some time. It opens with the narrator, who appears to be a child, lying seriously injured in a cave, unable to remember who she is and what has happened to her. She sets out to rediscover her past and finds that she is one of the Ina, an ancient vampire race. Things become more complicated when it begins to seem as if her life is risk from unknown attackers. In order to keep herself safe, Shori has to relearn who she is and what it means to be Ina.
As so often the case is Butler's work, Shori's story encompasses themes of race and gender. Is someone trying to kill Shori because she is Ina? Because she is part human? Or because she is black? The novel raises questions of where the boundaries of humanity lie and its dark parallel America offers plenty of opportunity for reflection on contemporary debates on integration, immigration, and genetic engineering.