Saturday, April 4, 2015

Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither Review

"When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.

In a thrilling debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?"

Obviously, there is this huge (and perhaps, international) debate about the ethics of cloning. (Even I spent a few days researching cloning is good or evil.) Whether or not you agree with cloning, you might like it. Falls the Shadow (interesting name for a book, right?) is somewhat similar to The Sixth Day. Yes, I'm referring to the movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (our former California governor who famously said, "I'll be back," in the Terminator). 

The Sixth Day and Falls the Shadow has many striking parallels that I'm not going to point out because of spoilers. But if you like The Sixth Day, you'll definitely like Falls the Shadow (unless the only reason you like The Sixth Day is because of Arnold). 

No, this isn't exactly a book that explores the ethics of cloning (I know there are some of you who love to explore the possibilities of cloning in books and movies). This is more of a book that has a mystery, a murder, and a suspect (who is missing). Falls the Shadow is a thriller with a(n) (unofficial) countdown. There is Violet, who is gone. There is Sam, who is dead. And there is a lot of troubling facts against Violet and the organization with its purpose of cloning. 

The world building of Falls the Shadow isn't particularly great. Over the more crucial parts of that information drop (I'm serious, it is like a whole book falls upon your head), I more or less fell asleep at that because of how boring it is. (Still, I got the gist of it.) Some parts... are just weird. Weird. (Then again, the business of cloning is always weird. Especially if you had just cloned Arnold Schwarzenegger.) 

Cate is an origin. That means she is a person, who is the original copy. She has a clone stored up in a facility somewhere. She is the unlucky one, who gets caught up with all of the cloning and anti-cloning (well, that is the closest thing I can call those people) business. She is there, stuck in the crossfires. Still, she somehow manages to impress me. (Though, I'm not sure if I should call her a great character. I save that title to the best of the most awesome characters.) 

Because of spoilers, I'm just going to say that the ending is disappointing. The fate of one person remains unknown and that totally frustrates me. 

Overall, Falls the Shadow is a decent book. Fans of The Sixth Day (the movie, I will remind you all for the third time) will enjoy it. The conflict of Falls the Shadow is easy enough to follow although the world building is somewhat empty and confusing. So... What do I think? Well, Falls the Shadow could be great but it isn't. Still, it is an interesting book from beginning to ending. If you need something to read, Falls the Shadow can be it.

Rating: Three out of Five

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