This week I also finished reading my first Octavia Butler book. Now that I’ve read her, I kind of wonder that it took me so long to read her. I picked up her books after I read her obituary in the New York Times, and the descriptions of the topics she discusses in her books made me want to go out right then and pick up one of her books.
Unfortunately, my local public library didn’t carry any of her books. Fledgling was the first title I recommended to the library that came in.
Fledgling, I think, is Ms. Butler’s last book. It’s a vampire novel, but it does some really interesting things to the myth. First, it disregards most of the vampire myth and starts out fresh. Butler uses the idea of vampires genetically engineering themselves so that they can go out during the day as a platform to talk about racism and what it means to be a part of two different species and races at the same time.
This book doesn’t have a lot of the action that most people have come to expect from their contemporary fantasies, but it was wonderful to explore deep themes through the usually frivolous vampire story.