She awakens feeling inside middle age, but looking preadolescent. Even more confusing is that she suffers from amnesia and doesn’t know why she is in this cave, badly bruised and injured. Finally she is starving, but instinctively knows she must dine on human blood, preferably without killing the host.
Wright drives by, sees this young battered girl alone, stops and offers her a ride, which she accepts along with feeding from him. He stays at her side feeling compelled to do so as Shori meets other Ina almost like her and learns that humans like Wright are symbionts providing their nourishment. However, she also finds out how unique she is even amongst the vampiric Ina, as she is the result of a genetic experiment using African American human DNA that enables her to withstand sunlight, why her family was murdered and that a predator seeks to finish the job by killing her and her new symbiont. Survival is her only objective.
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. Shori holds the tale together as she learns who she is and why someone wants her dead. Though some readers might have issue with a fifty-three years old female who looks like she is ten or eleven years old (Ina age slower and live longer) having adult relationships, Octavia E. Butler writes a thought provoking character driven relationship allegory.