Fledgling - Octavia E. Butler *** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS ***
For a long time I have been wanting to read a novel by Octavia E. Butler. Her last book, Fledgling, somehow seemed to be the right first choice for me, as I've always had a thing for vampire-stories.

I ordered the book from a local book store and waited for days in eager anticipation for it's arrival. The book arrived and I read it. The first few pages seemed promising, for its premise was different than most other vampire books that I have read. The book quickly became a disappointment to me (to put it mildly), as it touched on a subject that I find both disgusting and distracting.

The main character, Shori, is a 53-year old female vampire that suffers from amnesia. Shori is however not like other vampires, she is black (which for me is pointless as I have always been racially unbiased - she could have been purple for all that I cared), she is not "undead" or some fantastical strange mutation. She belongs to a different species that developed side by side with the humans. She does not look like other vampires of her species, for she physically looks like a 9-11 year old human child, although she certainly doesn't act like one. I can accept that, for who's to say that the physical development of a vampire child follows that of a human? Shori has several symbionts that she shares her life with and whom she feeds from, for her species is not a merciless bloodthirsty killer.

What I could not accept, enjoy or even tolerate, was the fact that Shori is a sexually active child. She is not sexually active with children of her own species (that, to a certain extend I could have "understood"), but she has sex with adult men and women of the human species, with individuals who seemingly have no qualms and troubles of having sex with what (appears to be) a human child. It's bizarre at best, utterly disgusting and perverted at worst. I don't get the point of this pseudo-paedophilia, I really don't see where Butler wants to go with this.

Because I enjoyed other aspects of this book I continued reading; I had an expectation that Butler had a larger plan with this pseudo-paedophilia, that there was some point that she was trying to make, but frankly I never saw it. IF there even was a point with it, for Butler herself has been known to have said that this book was meant as a lark, a joke. But sex with children, even if consensual, is no joke: it's just plain wrong. Frankly, I am amazed how any publisher would chose to publish it in the form that it is today.

I hope that her other works are better than this.