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Fledgling – tekijä: Octavia E. Butler

Fledgling (vuoden 2007 painos)

– tekijä: Octavia E. Butler (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2,4381294,722 (3.83)257
Fledgling, the late Octavia E. Butler's final novel, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted--and still wants--to destroy her and those she cares for, and how she can save herself. "Fledgling" is a captivating novel that tests the limits of "otherness" and questions what it means to be truly human.… (lisätietoja)
Teoksen nimi:Fledgling
Kirjailijat:Octavia E. Butler (Tekijä)
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2007), 320 pages
Kokoelmat:audiobook - MP3
Arvio (tähdet):

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Fledgling (tekijä: Octavia E. Butler)


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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 129) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
The Ina had always been here alongside humanity. They have longer written records than us and they can pass for us - except that they cannot survive under the sun and they need human blood to survive. Yes, they are the vampires of all the mythologies of the world - except as usual things are not exactly as myths will make you believe them to be.

We do not know this when the novel starts - we are in the head of a creature who can reason but has no memories of what happened. She is badly hurt but seems to be recovering. No memories come back but some feelings and knowledge occasionally filters in and allows our narrator to find some security for awhile. She is the only survivor of her household - everyone else died in the fires that destroyed her home - and when she finally finds someone else who knows her and give her back her own name, Shori Matthews, they get destroyed as well. And she is off, trying to find what happened to everyone and why and hot to survive and keep her people safe.

Shori is different - she is black in a race consisting of pale white people. Her family had been playing with genetics after they realized that the answer to the biggest problem for the Ina is melanin - while Shori still burns under the sun, she can stay awake during the day and she can even survive in the light for awhile if needed (although she blisters a bit). And it becomes clear before long that this is the reason for the violence that engulfed the Ina - they may be a different species but they seem to have learned racism from their human companions.

The novel can be disturbing in places - Shori is 53 but he body is that of a 10 years old girl and that makes all of the sexual scenes very disturbing - none of them is really explicit but they are in there. It is an exploration of the difference - you need to remember what she is (even when we did not know what the Ina are, we knew she was different and that she can control people we her bites). It is a coming of age story for an amnesiac child (even if she is old enough in human years, she is still an Ina child - even if that means something else for them) and it is an exploration of a race which looks like us but is not human. The latter part of the novel deals with the politics of the Ina and that's where you start realizing just how different they are - from keeping symbionts (humans tied to Ina) to their understanding of personal freedoms and choices.

This is the last novel published by Butler and it may have become the beginning of another series - the story itself has a good ending in the book but it could have easily been continued. She does not shy from bringing in various vampire lore and myths - sometimes confirming them in her story, sometimes ridiculing them. The Ina are not Dracula and yet they come from the same region and some of their stories match - every myth has a kernel of truth.

Using the vampires to explore gender roles and racism is not something you will see every day. In less capable hands, it could have become a joke. Butler pulls it off - it is not a perfect novel but it is a very good one. And just like Lauren in the Earthseed series, Shori is a flawed young woman who is trying to keep the people she feels responsible for safe. And while doing that, she makes mistakes, people die but ultimately she follows her own path, learning about the world and herself in the process. ( )
  AnnieMod | Aug 9, 2021 |
Octavia Butler excels at creating new and different ways for human beings and intimate aliens to live, relate, and reveal themselves. I read this book in a day, staying up late to finish, and wished it were longer so I could find out more about what will happen to Renee/Shori and her household. ( )
  jsabrina | Jul 13, 2021 |
Well enough written to keep me engaged. Not a rereader. Thankfully, the vampires don't sparkle. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
Phh. I don't like vampire stories, I think I got an overdose in my teen years and never really recovered. I did not enjoy this book and I can't explain my way around it. What made it worse was the reader of the audio book: Tracey Leigh fabricated a British accent for one of the characteres that was simply perplexing. It was a completely self-fabricated accent and painful to listen. I don't like overt empathising and use of different voices for characters, but this was so over the top it was ridiculous. I'll be avoiding her from now on. ( )
  Iira | Apr 24, 2021 |

The thing about an effective seduction is that you don't know it's happening to you until it's over. The seducer uses your assumptions, your hopes and your empathy to manipulate your emotions and slowly, step by step, get you to accept the world as they want you to see it. When you look back, you wonder how you could have moved so far away from your own values and how you could have gotten so used to something that would once have shocked you that you not only take it for granted but see it as something positive.

'Fledgling' is a novel-length seduction. From the first page, it nudged me to a view of the world where I accepted slavery as a lifestyle choice, I could see addiction as benign, I could see predators as protectors, I could accept men and women having sex with a vampire who is fifty-four but has the body of a ten-year-old as not just normal but almost wholesome and where I saw the good guys as the vampires who were conducting multiple-generation, cross-species eugenics experiments to make vampires harder to kill.

It's a mark of how effective the seduction was that, although I had recurring moments of feeling uncomfortable, I let them slide past because I was invested in the survival of the young vampire and was wrapped up in her trials and tribulations. Most of me was going - Wow, this is a great re-shaping of the vampire myth. Part of me was going, This council hearing scene is a little slow but I like the power dynamics only a very small voice at the back of my mind was saying over and over This is soooo wrong.

Now the book is done and I've had time to think beyond - hey, that was a pretty good vampire story - I'm left with two questions: how was the seduction done and why was the seduction done?

The first step in the seduction was to tell the story from the vampires point of view and to tell it at a point where she's badly hurt, vulnerable and has no memory of who or what she is. She doesn't even know her name. My default assumption was that, as the narrator, she's the hero, the one I should root for. Her being badly injured wins my sympathy and soon classifies her as a victim of violence. Then I see that her home has been burned down, her people are dead. she's still injured and she seems to be a child. Poor thing I think Will anyone help her? and the first hook is in.

Later, as it becomes clear that the vampire is a vampire she still doesn't slide over into the monster category. For one thing, she doesn't see herself that way. Whatever she is she's just her and that can't be bad, right? For another thing, even though she's lost her memory, she's retained her ethics and she's nice and benign and tries hard to not hurt anyone - Except, the small voice at the back of my head says, she still feeds on people without permission and rips out the throat of anyone who opposes her- yeah, except that.

Later still, Shuri is made to look good by comparison to other vampires who are worse and keeps my sympathy because she's alone and under attack and is still trying to do the right thing.

Shuri explains the world to me and I accept her explanations because, well, she's Shuri and I like her and she's sincere and honest so what's not to like? Which is how seduction and abuse survives.

Ok, so I was seduced to be on Shuri's side. Why did Octavia Butler do that? I think she was sending a message

Throughout the story, Octavia Butler constantly offered me small moments where there was an opportunity for my discomfort to triumph over my attraction, not because she wanted me to snap out of it and see through the glamour but because she wanted me to think about it afterwards and say: It's not so easy, is it? To keep your eyes open and stay true to your values when there's charisma in play and your empathy button is being pressed. This is how the wrong becomes normal and resistance becomes not just acquiescence but acceptance.

So, although I was uncomfortable with a very large man in his twenties having sex with a vampire with the body of a ten-year-old, I still let myself be convinced that this was OK because Shuri thought it was OK. Just like I accepted that it was not just OK but good that Shuri was building a family of symbionts, humans she thought of as hers, humans who couldn't survive without her, humans who wanted nothing more than to please her because Shuri was well-intentioned and was only following her nature. I saw family and symbionts because that's what Shuri saw. Why didn't I see people owned and enslaved by someone who addicted them? Why didn't I see hosts being used by a parasite that does its best to keep the host alive?

I think Octavia Butler was doing more than asking me to see how I easily I was seduced and making me wonder how many seductions I fall prey to in real-life. I think she wanted me to consider that simple answers aren't to be trusted.

Shuri is ethical, careful, even loving and yet she binds people to her, thinks of them as hers, as if she owns them. She treats them with care that is given to a well-loved pet. She grants them freedom to do as they wish. She even gives them a choice about becoming addicted to her. It's clear that Shuri's ethics are sincerely held but deeply self-serving. The question that Octavia Butler kept pushing me to ask was, Does the self-serving nature of Shuri's ethics make them invalid or does it make them authentic?

Damned if I know.

I want to say that freedom shouldn't need to be granted or earned. That She free-servitude is a seduction That informed consent doesn't legitimise slavery. That Shuri is monstrous and must be stopped.

But, If I say that, then I'm back on the side of the people who've been trying to kill Shuri and her family since the book started. I'm saying I want to exterminate her because she's an abomination whose existence cannot be allowed? How did my libertarian ethics lead me to that genocidal position?

So, I was seduced. I was shown disturbing things that came to seem normal. Then, when I had time to think, I had all my libertarian ethics subverted and was left wondering if I'd been seduced for a second time.

Perhaps I'm reading to much into a simple tale of every-day vampire life but this kind of thinking was a major source of my enjoyment of the book.

There's also a good adventure in there and Shuri is very easy to like and the vampire world-building is first-rate so it's all very entertaining. There was some loss of momentum in the council meetings towards the end but the argumentation in them kept my attention. The epilogue felt a little tacked on although it did make me hungry for another book, even though I know there isn't one.

This was my first Octavia Butler book and I know it's not always listed as one of her best but I liked it and I'll be back for more. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | Apr 5, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 129) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Even for a dyed-in-the-wool science-fiction fan like myself, the opening chapter of "Fledgling" asks a bit much of the reader. Shori, the narrator, awakens in darkness, hungry and in pain without any memory of who or what she is. But within a few pages, we begin to figure things out it along with her. And within a few chapters, we're utterly seduced by the forward motion of the narrative. Bitten, is how the narrator herself might put it.
lisäsi PhoenixFalls | muokkaaNPR, Alan Cheuse (Feb 23, 2007)
How many of our happy relationships involve a degree of dominance or dependence that we can't acknowledge? This is Butler's typically insidious method: to create an alternative social world that seems, at first, alien and then to force us to consider the nature of our own lives with a new, anxious eye. It's a pain in the neck, but impossible to resist.
A finely crafted character study, a parable about race and an exciting family saga. Exquisitely moving fiction.
lisäsi PhoenixFalls | muokkaaKirkus Reviews (Oct 1, 2005)
Fledgling is a reprint of a terrific vampire tale that provides a deep look at family, race relationships and sexuality, yet is loaded with action.

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Octavia E. Butlerensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Leigh, TraceyKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Metz, JulieKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Puckey, DonKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Yankus, MarcCover photomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Fledgling, the late Octavia E. Butler's final novel, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted--and still wants--to destroy her and those she cares for, and how she can save herself. "Fledgling" is a captivating novel that tests the limits of "otherness" and questions what it means to be truly human.

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Arvio (tähdet)

Keskiarvo: (3.83)
0.5 2
1 17
1.5 5
2 42
2.5 10
3 136
3.5 51
4 232
4.5 42
5 185

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