Thursday, May 17, 2012

Replication: Would you clone yourself?

Replication: The Jason Experiment
By Jill Williamson
Hardcover, 294 pages
Zondevan, December 2011

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.

Are all cloning stories based on the same idea? If I hadn't already read Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion or watched Ewan McGregor in The Island, I may have been more impressed by a story of spoiler (harvesting organs from human clones). Granted this one was about 1 individual being cloned multiple times...but, wait...isn't that like The House of the Scorpion?

But--as the character Abby would so often point out: there are pros and cons to everything so here's my list for Replication:

  • I felt like I really knew Martyr; As a clone, we learn of his perceptions and views while living on the farm and then see his lack of knowledge of the "real world" when he escapes. What he thinks about colors, sky, clothing. What he calls a "dog" or a "house." It makes me think about when and what we learn about the world.
  • Abby's train of thought and sarcasm were funny.
  • Williamson did a good job of balancing the themes of Christianity in a Sci-fi novel. I didn't feel like she trying to preach to me. It just felt like a story about a girl who just happens to believe in God. There are definite Christian principles in the novel such as prayer, creation, and the Bible which may be a little overwhelming if you are not interested in those topics.
  • A discussion guide was included! Yay!
  • I had hoped for a more interesting concept/plot line and the story was fairly predictable--which is probably why I wasn't on the edge of my seat and began to get a little bored closer to the end. (But if you haven't read many human cloning stories, you may enjoy this one.)
  • Some answers weren't good enough for me. Why do clones need to be educated if the doctors are just going to take out their body parts? Just to keep them civilized? What if you just kept them in a vegetative state?
Even with the cons, I think it's well worth the read. It's considered a "Clean Teen Read" and written well enough to entertain a teen. As a parent, I would feel completely comfortable having a teen read it. But as a reviewer, it didn't grab me as much as some other reads I've read...
Rated 3.5 Bites.

Click here to purchase Replication: The Jason Experiment on


Anonymous said...

I don't get it sounds like you loved it then sounds like you hated it? Confusing

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon, Thanks for your comment. You're absolutely right. I had a hard time with this one because I liked it but then I didn't. Although I wasn't "blown away" by it, I think it's a good enough read for others to consider. Hope that clarifies things. :)