Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I admit that I wanted to like this more than I did simply because I am a big fan of Kindred. I was slightly ambivalent about another book on vampires, however, and while I tried not to take that into serious account when reading Butler, it still crept in.
Mostly, however, I liked the book fine. Any major issues I have can be neatly summed up in my opinion on quasi-pedophile literature in general. It's designed to make us squirm. If it doesn't make you squirm then maybe you're reading just a tad too much pedo-literature. Suffice to say, I squirmed a lot. I tried telling myself over and over that a 53-year-old vampire with amnesia with the body of an eleven-year-old girl should be judged on the stated facts alone, not by the super-creepy visceral feel it evokes.
Putting that aside, the rest of the novel doesn't break any new ground. Far from it. Can anyone else remember a novel that starts out with an amnesiac MC? Anyone? Is it one out of six novels? By proportion, I do believe that about that many of us in real life must be amnesiac. It makes sense, doesn't it? That's probably why we keep forgetting how many times we've read novels with amnesiac main characters.
Moving on. Slow build, discovery that we're dead. Check. Mind-rolling all the first people we meet. Check. Falling into long-term relationships with these random people. Check. Now let's have a little violence and ask the question of why. Uh oh. Vampire politics. Check.
Voila! One vampire novel to order. It did have a kinda courtroom feel at the end, no? *sigh*
I may sound like I hated this novel, but no. Like I said, it was fine. Not extremely creative, just a tad or a bit more than a lot of creepy. The horror aspect went away pretty early and the novel fell into a comfortable settle in with her mind rolled lovers before it became Law and Order for bloodsuckers. It just feels like I've read this book before. Many times. And the only thing that makes it stand out is the fact that it creeps my non-pedo-self out. That's not exactly high praise.
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