When it comes to the concept of clones, I just can’t resist. I totally dig the Orphan Black series on BBC. If you’re not watching it, you should start. However, do not start watching videos about Illuminati celebrity clones on Youtube. Seriously, you can get sucked down that rabbit hole for HOURS. In my case, days. I’ve had to put a self imposed ban on watching anything regarding the Illuminati or alien races walking among us because I have gotten so wrapped up that I have literally gone out to check my mailbox to see if FEMA had put a color coded sticker on it marking me for DEATH. Crazy, right? Yeah, I know, but Google it. Some people can be pretty convincing.
Anyway, when I saw the Imitation Series by Heather Hildenbrand I was all like clones? Yes, please! Because, you know they exist, right? If we can clone animals, we can clone humans OMG THERE I GO AGAIN. Sorry. Here’s my take on the first two books.
DISCLAIMER: If you plan on reading them and don’t want to know what happens, don’t go inside. I spoil the crap out of it.
The first book in the series revolves around Ven, an imitation of an authentic human named Raven Rogen. Of course, Raven’s father, Titus, is a bajillionaire who owns a medical research company, RogenCorp, which is really just a cover for his clone making operation. Basically, he plans on taking over the world by replacing people in powerful governmental offices with clones he can control.
First snag: You never get a good sense as to why Raven has been replaced with Ven. All that is said is that bad people are after Raven. Oooookay? Then why don’t the dangerous people who are after Raven ever seem to be after Ven? My take is because it’s just a device to introduce the main character.
Second snag: Titus is a straight up a-hole. He treats Ven like a piece of property, which she is, but we never get a true sense as to why he’s so cold and unfeeling. Two books in and he’s still pulling dick maneuvers and we’re no closer to any insight as to why. Greed seems to be the obvious motive, but that’s just so… overdone. At this point, the twist with Titus’ motive, if there is one, is going to have to be pretty big for me not to be disappointed.
So, in the second book Ven has fallen in love with her bodyguard, Linc, and is questioning if she is worthy of the same emotion and love as an authentic human being. Uh-huh, good. There’s more at stake now because she’s stepped up to the plate to set free a warehouse full of imitations, including her two friends–the only family she knows. Okay, great.
First snag: There is this tension that Titus will hit the “kill switch” implanted in Ven, but he never does and there seems to be plenty of chances for him to do so. Obviously Titus is a very smart and powerful man. He has to be in order to successfully hide a WAREHOUSE FULL OF CLONES from the world. How does Ven manage to fool him time after time that she is in compliance with his evil plan?
Second snag: For some reason, this far along, I am still pretty detached to Ven’s plight. I can’t quite muster enough sympathy to care. I can’t tell if she needs more character development or if I’m just a cold-hearted bizznatch.
Third snag: The ending to Deviation is a huge cliffhanger. I’m all for cliffhangers, but this one made me kind of mad. It felt like a cop out, a device to get us to read the next book.
Ven discovers there are several more imitations of Raven, yet Titus puts her in “relaxation” mode, which essentially amounts to a coma. Why? What makes Ven so special that he wouldn’t just flip the kill switch? He’s been treating her like crap the whole time and now you’re telling me he’s not going to just get rid of her, especially when he’s got several more imitations laying around?
All in all, the writing is good. The premise is fantastic, and I admit, I can go too far with the plausibility police bit when I read books, but there are just too many “yeah, right” and “really?” moments in this series for me. Not sure if I will read the third book when it comes out.
? ? ? (possibly two and a half) out five ?.