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Your Replacement Is Waiting (A Review of Heather Hildenbrand’s Imitation)

Imitation Description:

“Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face.

Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?”

My Thoughts:

Heather Hildenbrand’s Imitation is a creative look at the world of human cloning through a young adult’s eyes. The first couple of chapters were a little slow, but, the book is well worth it. By the end of the book, you are fully vested in the characters of Ven and Linc.

In my opinion, this book really starts when Ven gets her mission. Before that, her life is mundane and very routine. The handling of the details enabled me to visualize things as Ven might see them. After all, she is a clone whose only knowledge of the “real” world comes from camera footage on her Authentic.

I particularly liked how Ven’s Authentic was more fake than any Imitation could be. She was a superficial snob who was totally unlikable. You come to love Ven and want to defend her to the arrogant antagonist, Titus Rogen. His world is full of manipulative people who would do anything to get what they want.

This is not a simple story of good and bad, however. It has interesting twists and leaves a person thinking. Does the presence of a soul make you human? Or, is it the fact that you have human DNA alone that makes you human? Should human clones be entitled to any rights? Would their lives matter? Should science and technology have a role in politics? All of these questions are raised in Hildenbrand’s book making for a very interesting read.

I would definitely recommend this book. You’ll want to pace yourself, though. It’s a trilogy with only two books written so far.

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