Monday, March 19, 2012

Replication - Jill Williamson

Replication was granted to me by Zondervan through NetGalley. If the name sounds familiar, Zondervan is a christian publishing company, and granted me The Merchant's Daughter a few months ago. That being said, I was pretty happy to get Replication, because Merchant gave me hope for Zondervan books.

Replication is about J:3:3, also called Martyr. Martyr is an identical clone, one of hundreds of the Jason model that are created and raised in the secret Jason Farm base. His life is surviving until he's 18, at which time his 'purpose is realized' and he is sacrificed to help create an antidote to the poisons in the real world. Or at least, that's what he's told. But after a new scientist appears in the Farms, Martyr is given the chance to dream of new things. All Martyr wants before he realizes his purpose is to see the sky--just once. He escapes, only to meet Abby: a religious girl who was forced to move near Jason Farms to meet the desires of her scientist father. Abby attempts to teach Martyr that death isn't his purpose, and that God has given him a purpose of his own.

This book...well, it's always weird for me to read a religion heavy book, and this was definitely religion based. Much of the book consists of Abby and Martyr discovering God together, and religion and conservative views are very strongly portrayed. As a person who subscribes to neither such system, it was weird for me to read. But for someone who is a conservative christian, I'm assuming that this would be a pretty big plus for the book.

The story itself was pretty awesome. I loved the idea of a giant series of clones, and I loved Martyr's entire motivation. I loved Abby's father's moral dilemma, loved the boy that Abby meets in her new school, and I honestly don't know what to say other than I loved the story itself.

As far as characters go, my favorite was definitely Martyr himself. Marty got his nickname because of his protective nature. In Replication, cloning isn't a perfect system at all. There are mistakes, problems, and flawed creations. Martyr was a protector of those flawed creations. The disabled clones, the clones that came out mentally retarded such as Baby, Martyr sought to protect them from clones that were crueler. He reminded me of a very gentle, happy dog in much of the story, which is kind of weird to say about a human character, but is still very true. His fascination with bright colors was adorable.

I'd recommend Replication to any christian reader seeking a book about spiritual discovery. I'd also recommend Replication to fans of The House of the Scorpion, as long as they're okay with the religious aspects of the novel, as the clone issues are very well portrayed in both stories. Finally, I'd recommend Replication to anyone who would be interested in a story about a completely blank slate being introduced to the world we live in.

So if any of those describe you, pick up Replication by Jill Williamson the next time you're book hunting.

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