Sunday, July 8, 2012

Replication: The Jason Experiment by Jill Williamson (ARC)

Replication: The Jason Experiment
Jill Williamson
Pub: December 27, 2011

Synopsis: When Your Life Is Not Your Own

Martyr---otherwise known as Jason 3:3---is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to 'expire' in less than a month. To see the sky. Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars. As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures---the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he's ever known.

Martyr - nicknamed by his fellow Jasons' because he's always trying to protect the 'broken' Jasons' - is a clone living in a secret facility beneath a barn in Alaska. Life there is pretty boring in a facility lacking color, personality, and tasty foods, but they don't know that. All they know is the world is filled with toxic air, and without the antidote, they'd die if they ever went outside. So inside this facility Martyr has lived all his life, awaiting the day to fulfill his purpose, when he'll 'expire' at eighteen and his blood will be used to heal others. So when he's about two weeks shy of his expiry date, all he wants is to see the sky before he dies. But the doctors' say no, so Martyr takes advantage of the new doctor, swiping his keycards and sneaking outside. He's not too worried about the toxic gas since he's about to die anyways, but when he gets outside, nothing happens. Confused and a little scared, he wants to see more, and hops into the back of the truck of the new doctor.

From there Martyr's journey spirals out of control. He meets the doctor's daughter, Abby, and tells her his story. Furious her father has taken another questionable job, she's determined to help Martyr and his fellow Jasons', and expose the illegal cloning lab to the world. But the odds are stacked against them as the lab chases him down, and the true reason for Martyr's existence comes to light.

I absolutely loved this from beginning to end. I'm a Microbiologist, so science and cloning are right up my alley. I particularly enjoyed the simplistic, naive mind of Martyr, who was educated to keep him busy through the years, so he was book smart, but completely lacked real life experiences and social skills. And Abby was incredibly patient with him, exposing him slowly to things in the real world. There's also a slight romantic interest blooming between the two, and I liked that it was a slow process and not insta-love.

The only thing I didn't like about Replication was the excess of religious speak. I'm fine with Abby having faith in a God and trying to live her life as best she can by the bible, and I'm fine that she and her scientific father clash and argue Science vs. Religion. I'm even fine with Abby trying to explain her religious beliefs to Martyr, who then decides to follow God's path as well. What annoyed me, however, was the constant narration referrals of 'I pray...' and 'I know God will...', etc. Half way through the book, the 'pray' and 'God' references appear on practically every page. And since there was so much action and danger, both Abby and Martyr were both praying that God would protect them and see them through every little bump in the road. It was just too much, and it bugged me so much that I'm knocking a perfectly awesome 5 star rating down to a 4, because by the end, I felt preached to, and the entire novel ended up being one big religious lesson. Still, religious tone aside, this book was pretty awesome and you guys should definitely pick this up!

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ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley.

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