The premise is that there are ancient strange undying beings among us with supernatural powers of strength, transformation, and telepathy, and that many of these people were Africans made into slaves. Wow. The story? One of these passive beings constantly gives in to another, crueler being for the entire story. Sure, it’s realistic as hell. We’ve all watched someone repeat their personal character flaws over and over and over and over... But this isn’t a satisfying story in my mind and it made me hate both of these characters. And her writing is lauded for its smoothness, and it is, but it is also a little bit too much on the pretentious side for me.
Lessons: . Butler has the tightest opening chapters I can recall, with perfect-perfect structure, brilliant structure: every single sentence advances the story, drawing the reader in. It is really quite, remarkable.
A minor lesson as well is that readers want to kill passive characters. Or, at least, I did.