Book Title: Kindred, Fledgling, Collected Stories
Author: Octavia E. Butler
Release Date: 1/19/21
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really hate to say this but … no bueno. I love Octavia Butler novels like Kindred and the Earthseed novels. I’ve read those fantastic books multiple times. Kindred in fact is part of this collection of stories by Ms. Butler and I fully recommend that wonderful book.
In Kindred, Dana, a Black woman whose husband is white, is pulled back and forth between the California present and the pre–Civil War South, where she finds herself enslaved on the plantation of a white ancestor whose life she must save in order to preserve her own. Gripping and suspenseful, the novel uses the conceit of time travel to plumb the mutilating structures of slavery and the terrible cost they continue to exact. – Goodreads
However, the first story in this collection turned me off so bad I quit reading and put it in my DNF.
A woman wakes up covered in burns in a mountainside cave with no knowledge of who she is or what has happened to her. In time she discovers that she is a vampire, and that there are others like her. Among the long-lived Ina, though, Shori is something new: an experimental birth, containing African American human DNA that gives her brown skin and the feared and fearful ability to go out in sunlight. Part murder mystery, part fantasy thriller, Fledgling is Butler’s incomparable take on the vampire novel. – Goodreads
Sounds good right? Admittedly, I’m not a big vampire fan. For some reason the whole thing with vampires just kind of skeeves me out, but this story really turned me off. The “woman” in this story actually lives in the body of a child. I think she looks like a pre-teen. When I got to the part where she seduces and has a sex scene with a grown man who is attracted to her youthful looks I had to let this one go. I’m sure Ms. Butler had things she was trying to say, but I’m not interested in sticking around to find out. This is just not for me.
It’s unfortunate, and I probably should have gone on to look at more of the other stories included in the collection, but that story left a bad tasted in my mouth and once I DNF I try not to look back. But please, by all means read Kindred. It does not disappoint.