Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available now from Alloy Entertainment.
Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.
Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face. Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.
So here we go with another start to a YA series for me to get my teeth into - first thing that has to be said is I adore that cover. Yes I know it has little to do with how good the book is but it is what made me want to read it originally so is worth a mention. One of those books I shall definitely be wanting a finished copy of for my shelf...
We meet Ven, who lives in Twig City, she was not born, but created, as a double for her "authentic" Raven who lives in the "real" world. Ven's job at the moment is to live quietly whilst keeping up with Raven's life, watching how she moves, dresses, interacts with others and be ready to jump in at a moments notice. Aware that she may simply end up being an organ donor and is not considered to be human, Ven struggles with her own self image and importance. When the time comes for her to take Raven's place for a while, she is both scared and elated to be heading out into life despite the fact that she will never return..
I really really enjoyed this one, it was beautifully written and compelling. Ok there are some standard YA tropes here - Instant love and attraction, a not quite new story and the occasional pretty generic filler character - but lets face it, if it ain't broke don't fix it. The author also manages however to bring a fresh feel to the narrative and to explore some meaningful themes, and mix it up into an adventurous dystopian tale that will have you avidly turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Ven is interesting - she is thrust into a world where she doesnt know who to trust, where political motivations remain unclear and is expected to serve her purpose without a fuss. As she gets more used to life in the real world and begins to really question what is going on around her, it is extremely addictive stuff. As a "part one" it is perfectly constructed, giving the reader a chance to absorb the world created and the people in it, setting up the next part (which I really am looking forward to) yet still giving a highly satisfactory finish.
I found the "Imitation" theme extremely fascinating - the moral and ethical implications of carbon copy humans created solely for the benefit of their counterparts are well explored here, leaving room for you to draw your own conclusions and I will be interested to see where the author takes it next, having left the characters where she did. Really very good indeed, yet easy to read and flowing beautifully along.
Overall an excellent start. Roll on part two!
Happy Reading Folks!