Friday, 20 January 2012

Review ~ Replication ~ Jill Williamson

Title: Replication

Author: Jill Williamson

Published: 1st January 2012

By: Zondervan

Source: netgalley

First line: Martyr stared at the equation on the whiteboard and set his pencil down.

Last line: She only wished she could see the look on Dad’s face when Marty asked.

Fave Line: “So, if the function of x is nonnegative and continual between the interval of a and b, you find the integral of that function by doing the antiderivative and plugging in the numbers a & b respectively to get an exact number as opposed to a general solution like you’d get from an indefinite integral” ??

Replication is a sci-fi tale which revolves around two main characters. Firstly, we have Martyr who is classified as a Jason. Martyr lives underground in what appears to be a medical facility in Alaska. Having never left the facility he lives there with 55 other Jasons, some of whom he cares and looks out for because they are considered to be broken. Patiently he waits for his expiration date to arrive when he knows he will fulfil his purpose. Martyr has one ambition – to see the sky before he dies. Abby is a teenager who has recently lost her mother to cancer. She’s a complex character from the outset. She writes lists of pros and cons, using the lists to help her reach decisions and form opinions. When we join her she has just arrived home from a school trip to find that her father, a scientist, has gotten a new job in Alaska and that he has emptied and shipped their home thousands of miles away without even informing her.

After arriving in Alaska and receiving a pretty negative response from her new schoolmates she gains the unwanted attention of JD, one of the school jocks who it turns out happens to be a genius and one who cannot understand Abby’s total disregard for him. She also becomes friends with Kylee a fellow geek who she bonds with immediately. Out of curiosity she visits the enclosure, Jason Farms, where her father works and gradually realises that her father is participating in research that goes again her and her late mother’s beliefs. It is only when Martyr escapes that Abby becomes aware of the full horrors of what is happening at Jason Farms and the implications this has for those around her.

There are many aspects of this book that I loved. The characters I thought were rich and easy to imagine. I loved the almost OCD aspect to Abby’s personality and Martyr’s character is heart-breakingly sweet and naive. There are little things like not knowing what night is, what a cat is, that make him so vulnerable and of course you end up rooting for him all the way.

What left me feeling uncomfortable were the religious overtones that pick up pace through the book. Light vs. dark, good against bad, ethical and moral choices are almost fundamental aspects of YA whether you’re reading about angels, demons, ghosts, vampires or any number of other immortals. The same applies to the sci-fi/dystopian genres. I love books that encourage readers to question their opinions and beliefs but I also think that works of fiction should not prescribe a certain train of thought, rather they should encourage individual reflection. And that unfortunately is where I found this book lacking. I can appreciate that there are some sections of the wider readership who will find this appealing but for me, I felt it made for uncomfortable reading and detracted from a pretty good plotline.

2.5/5 – I loved the storyline and adored some of the characters but my enjoying it was hampered by the underlying messages in the book.


Cait said...

Yeah, I really dislike religious opinions in novels as well--it totally puts me off. I wont be picking this one up and I'm sorry it hampered your enjoyment of it

The Cait Files

Raimy from Readaraptor Hatchling said...

ooo yeah it sounded good until you mentioned the undertones, I cant stand stuff like that so Im afraid I'll probably give this one a miss! I'm sorry that you didnt like it much either and hope you read something amazing next to make up for it!

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