September 11th, 2006



High Shadow
Yesterday I found out (too late, too late) that Octavia Butler has been writing books just for me. Sunday I walked down to the bookstore and bought her last novel, Fledgling. I fell in love with Fledgling in the first sentence and I was hooked till I was finished. The sun set as I read this book, I remember because halfway through I had to turn on more lights in my room.

Octavia Butler’s Fledgling is a vampire story, but it’s a different kind of vampire story than I’m used to reading. Fledgling is more about family, interdependence and historical prejudices than it is about hunting, the night and wearing dark clothes. It’s simply written and swift, but it’s deceptive in its simplicity, like Mozart. It’s the kind of book that reads like candy, you can’t stop turning pages, devouring the whole thing, as hungry as one of Butlers vampires.

A hundred pages from the end, I realized that this book was setting up for a series. It would be a long series with rich characters and a world to explore. It was sexy and lush and I wanted to run out and buy the sequel that night. Of course, there is no sequel. This was her last book. I’m reading her work backwards. I intend to read every novel and story Butler’s ever written. If she were alive, I would have sent her fan mail, but now, I can only follow her, read what she’s done, and learn.