Published by Createspace Independent Pub on April 3rd 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Also by this author: Deviation
eBook provided by BookSparks, Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me. The rough fabric of my cotton nightgown chafes so I lie very still. They say my discomfort comes from being built like one accustomed to niceties. How is that fair when I myself have never experienced anything but copies of the real thing? My entire life is an imitation. I am an Imitation. I've been here five years. Training. Preparing. Waiting. And now I have a letter. My assignment has begun. I am a prisoner. I am not Raven Rogen. I am here to die. **Book one in the Clone Chronicles**
The idea of clones used to replace the rich is not something new. Imitation does a good job of capturing what it might be like for a clone. She is expendable, has no soul, and no feelings…or does she? What if she imagines freedom from her job as a clone? This story explores the problems with being a clone.
Ven is an imitation. She is cloned in someone’s image and her whole life is learning to be like her. She studies her life, her friends, he loves, her role in the world. One day Ven will have to take Raven’s position, and then after that hopefully she gets to move on to a retired position where she can be herself and not just a clone. This story starts with Ven getting the message that her Authentic needs her. She slips easily into the role of Raven, but she doesn’t like being in so much danger, or the fact that he (Raven’s father Titus the maker of all imitations) is using her as bait to find the kidnappers. Maybe Ven doesn’t want to die for a girl she never met before.
This story was so close to the movie The Island, that I thought I would know it. It starts off almost exactly the same. After about chapter 5 the story takes us somewhere else. Ven is a likeable girl, if only because she is so venerable. I didn’t like Raven at all in this story. She is a snob and her friends are horrible. Ven is forced to slip into Raven’s life, as Raven, while Raven is holed up somewhere safe. We never actually meet the real Raven, so I have no idea how much of that was for show, for her father, or for her shallowness.
Ven gets really close to Raven’s bodyguard Linc. Linc is a dreamy hero for Ven. I grew a little bored with Linc and Ven, he is almost too devoted to her. He is definitely too devoted to his job for Titus to be a real good guy. I don’t know though. Only two people know who Ven really is in this story and Linc ends up being one of them. Of course Linc figures it out, because Raven would never dream of being nice to the help. Titus is a mean bad guy hidden behind power. Even his relationship to his own daughter is strange. This story takes us through Ven being dangled into danger time and again so Titus can figure out who is trying to get Raven.
There are so many unanswered questions at the end of this tale that I would not consider this a stand alone, by any stretch of the imagination. There were a few things I didn’t think worked for the story. Like when her friend, Anna, from the clone factory finds her, and then she seems the victim in an evil plot. Why was she out in the first place? Gah! I don’t understand. Maybe things will be revealed in the next story that will make some of this make more sense for me. The twist in this story, which doesn’t come until late in the book, made me a fan of the series. I really have to find out what happens next.
About the Author
Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places.
Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys.