Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Review: Replica

Replica (Replica, #1)Author: Jenna Black
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series: Replica Trilogy # 1

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.

“It’s Nathaniel, dear,” her mother said, and Nadia’s chest tightened painfully. But the next words were not at all what she expected to hear. “He’s been murdered.”

Nate had had mostly good intentions when he’d asked her to dance. But that didn’t change the fact that what he wanted to do now wasn’t just reckless, it was dangerous. She should never have let him talk her into leaving the party.

What girl wouldn’t dream of having someone so handsome and charming in her bed? But any girl who shared his bed would spend a lot more time sleeping than she expected.

“You looked like you could use a rescue,” Nate said, and Nadia felt a flash of gratitude. “Besides,” he continued, “I don’t need an ulterior motive to dance with the most beautiful girl in the room.”

This is a far cry from what I usually read, but I loved it! This is categorized as Young Adult Science Fiction, a genre that I hardly ever touch. I was very pleased with this story and am anxious for the next book in the series to be released. Nadia Lake is engaged to be married, an arranged marriage that is, to Chairman Heir Nathaniel Hayes. Nate is charming, handsome, and a total catch, so she considers herself lucky to be consider worthy of his betrothal. Two years shy of their marriage Nate is murdered at a fancy wedding in the Corporate States. He is soon made into a replica, think of a clone, but the last two weeks of his memories have been erased. Nadia and Nate must go on a wild goose chase in order to track down the last person that was with Nate before he was killed: Nate’s lover!

The futuristic setting that Jenna Black describes for us in her new series is what intrigued me the most. It resembles parts of Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games, at least with the lifestyles of The Gamekeepers. I wouldn’t say it is identical to either of these books in any way, but just certain parts about the setting and the world building Black sets up reminded me of both of these books. Black does not dish all the details about the futuristic society that Nate and Nadia live in from the start, but allows readers to be immersed in the society and its strange tendencies and government as Nate and Nadia race against time to solve this murder mystery.

There was not a strong romantic aspect to this story, but I think I enjoyed it more because of that. I always love to see an author that can write a truly fascinating story without including a love triangle. There is potential for both of the main characters to find love, but this time around they were more concerned with beating what they were up against. Nadia and Nate are terrific characters, even if they will never have anything more than a friendship. (I will let you find out why on your own.) Nadia is brave for a sixteen-year-old girl and even though she doesn’t approve of the way Nate behaves at times, she still does her best to help him in his time of need.

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Tor Teen in exchange for my honest review***

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