by Octavia E. Butler
Seven Stories Press, 2005, ISBN 1-58322-690-7
A book review by Elisabeth Carey
A young girl wakes up with no memory, serious burns, very serious skull injuries, an aversion to daylight, and some very strange needs and abilities. Gradually, she recovers some memory of how the world works and what she needs, but her memory of herself and her family is completely gone.
Shori is a 53-year-old vampire (still a young girl, by vampire standards), genetically modified to be able to wake and walk during daylight (but not enough to love it; she burns very easily), and the sole survivor of a vicious attack on her community, which consisted of her female relatives and their symbionts. With some help from a human man who stopped to pick up the lost little girl by the side of the road, she finds her father's family, and, after they're attacked, too, other vampires. Gradually she discovers both the reason for the attacks, and her own history and the history and culture of her people. As you'd expect of Butler, it's very well-written, and both logically worked out and emotionally compelling.