Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review and Giveaway of 'Replica' by Jenna Black

Pub. Date: July 16, 2013

Goodreads Description:

Breathtaking new YA SF from the author of the Faeriewalker series

Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in the Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image — no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathan Hayes is the heir of Paxco — controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren’t in love, they’ve grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match.

Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn’t know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

About Author:

Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she's an "experience junkie." She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.

Concluding that this discovery was her life's work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. She writes paranormal romance for Tor and urban fantasy for Bantam Dell.

My Review:

I was provided with two advanced reading copies of this book; one from the publisher and one from goodreads first reads giveaways.
I was a little hesitant at first because I usually either love or hate science fiction and this is my first young adult science fiction book. But I was very pleasantly surprised. Although I honestly would personally classify this as more of a dystopian fantasy than science fiction, but there are elements of science fiction in the technology utilized in the books. The world in these books is a future where corporations have bought out and taken over the government. The chairmen of companies are the leaders of the states.
The story itself was very interesting and compelling. The mystery in the story was interesting and kept me guessing. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I was I couldn't stop reading. The ending (I won't give it away) was not at all what I expected, which is rare for me. After reading and watching so many stories unfold I have become frighteningly good at predicting the outcomes of mysteries, but this one actually surprised me. I didn't see it coming. The world of this story is unique and not at all like a lot of the billions of other dystopian stories out there right now. It also delved into classes and the idea of celebrity. The way these two issues were presented in the books gave a nice commentary on the state of the world today. They were a bit more extreme in the story, but still hit a chord with me in respect to today's society.
I loved the characters in this book. It is written from two different points of view. The first is Nadia who is a privileged 16 year old daughter of an upper class family who is in a constant struggle to protect her family while keeping her reputation and place in society secure. She started out in the book as a scared young girl, but grows throughout the story to be fierce and strong. She kind of irritated me in the beginning, but her growth made me care for her and root for her as the story went on.
The second point of view was that of Nate. He is in an arranged marriage with Nadia and is basically the heir to running the state. He also happens to be gay and a bit of a reckless party boy. He and Nadia are best friends and she is the only other person that knows he's gay aside from his boyfriend who is originally from the basement (the slums) of Paxco (New York). Nate is murdered in the first chapter of the book, but is quickly brought back in the form of a replica. As a replica he has all of Nate's memories up until his last memory upload, which was two weeks before his murder. The last person to see him alive, who is also the prime suspect, is his boyfriend Kurt Bishop who goes on the run. Nate and Nadia both have their reasons for finding Kurt and they both work to find him. I really loved reading a new mainstream young adult novel with a gay male point of view. I have yet to read anything like it and I loved seeing this important, but under utilized point of view in a mainstream novel.
I really enjoyed this book. The story was unique and addictive. The characters are flawed, but loveable. It is written smoothly and beautifully. It reeled me in and wouldn't let me go until it ended. It is the first in a series of books and based on the ending of this book there is an interesting and exciting story to come throughout the series. I cannot wait to read where it goes next.

My Review:


  1. I like when the author gives us their ideas on what the future may hold for us, challenges we might face.

  2. Anything involving time travel! And I'm a sucker for Twilight Zone stories, love them!

    ~Veronica Vasquez~

  3. I love the Pretties/Uglies/Specials series by Scott Westerfeld.