Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review::Replica by Christian Johnson

ReplicaReplica by Christian Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Replica by Christian Johnson

I wanted to say I loved this book. I like it I like it a lot and it has an interesting moral dilemma built into it. I'm willing to give it high marks, but I'm going to be brutal about what I don't like. The problem for me is that it has too much of a feel like the movie The Sixth Day. And honestly there is nothing wrong with that when making a movie or a script for a movie. But this is all just personal preference in wanting a bit more focus on the moral dilemma and the main character.

Like any good movie this book hits the ground running; so anyone that likes their action upfront and straight on through until morning, this is the one. There is hardly room to breath and very little room for any time dwelling on the moral implication although somehow it does get squeezed in and that much I would have to chalk up to good writing.

On that note though I have to give my usual caveat when it comes to grammar and spelling and style. This book boast of three editors and that gives us three other people to blame. There are problems; some of them are pretty obvious and others are just subtle and then the last are just style preferences, which probably don't count for more than a hill of beans. In some places it makes for awkward sentences that made me stop and go back.

In the story Veronica wakes up inside what could only be the vat containing her clone. This is only supposed to happen if she's been killed and then brought back and the way she arrives is not quite by the book, so the whole thing is suspicious from the start. Fortunately for Veronica, she's a bad-ass agent for the CDA and for some reason the normal procedure that would leave her unable to act properly for a while has been subverted. But the SecuraLife Corporation has a reputation to uphold and since she wasn't marked for activation that means shes a Replica and the real her is still alive and she has to be terminated.

Here the excitement begins and a great story unfolds, but for me the problems start here also. We really don't have time to get to know Veronica and the story touches several brief times on the subject of her having a soul or not and since she starts life by accidentally being responsible for a technicians demise and then blowing up the facility and ending a few more lives we really don't get to know her as a person but as an assassin we have her pegged quite well. If this is the real Veronica I'm not sure I'd be able to sympathize with her very much and for long. We do get some insight when she starts realizing she is going to be treated as an un-person; because she's a replica. That only lasts long enough for us to understand that she's ready to fight tooth and nails to stay alive and independent.

For those people who like the action suspense thrillers this really hits the note and keeps going all the way through. We reach a point where things do settle for a bit; but Veronica's constant desire to remain free, clouds any ability to listen to reason. That turns out to be a somewhat good thing because when she does listen it seems she might be somewhat gullible.

I figured out where some of this was heading, but I held out hope that the author might twist it a bit at the last moment: that didn't happen. I could explain but it would be a spoiler for anyone else who may or may not be able to put two and two together. We do not get any real satisfaction for the question of soul and what should become of a replicant, but that doesn't matter because a bulk of the plot does get resolved.[But not everything, so...]

Did Christian Johnson mention this was book one. I don't quite recall. I hope he did because I want to know what happens next.

This is a good novel for those who like Sci-Fi Suspense Thrillers with a touch of Cyberpunk built into it.

J.L. Dobias

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