Are Clones Human?

TheHouseoftheScorpionA fascinating question really.  With the advancements in genetics it’s only a matter of time I imagine.  Clone stories seem to be everywhere over the past couple of years (Orphan Black anyone?but it’s a haunting story I read a few years ago that really made me think about the evolving definition of humanity.

Like some of my favourite stories recently (Curious Incident, Wonder, Out of Sight) House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer sets out to make you question perception and uses first person point of view to maximum impact.  The novel is set in the dystopian world of Opium where we meet Matt, a young clone of the local drug lord who was bred for parts.  Matt is treated like an animal with no more rights or feelings than a cow bred for meat.  Farmer’s writing is so vivid and we are right there with Matt as he battles for identity and questions who he really is.  An unusual take on the traditional Coming of Age story but very effective.

Several of my grade 10 students have read The House of the Scorpian since I added it to their Independent Study List, and it has prompted some great debate and deep thinking in their writing.  A good story that gets kids talking is always a good thing in my book 🙂

I have yet to read the sequel, The Lord of Opium, but it’s definitely on the To Be Read list for this year.

Ages: 12 and up         Rating:  4.5 stars

The Silence of Six (Shelf Control #1)

In keeping with the goal of this blog, I’ll only be looking at the YA and children’s books on my list, still, I’m confident there’s little chance of running out of material to write about.

I begin with a Sci-Fi thriller which is next up after my current read.silence of six

Title: The Silence of Six
By: E.C. Myers
Published: 2014
Target:  14+

Synopsis (via Goodreads):  

WHAT IS THE SILENCE OF SIX, AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
These are the last words uttered by 17-year-old Max Stein s best friend Evan just moments before he kills himself after hacking into the live-streaming Presidential debate at their high school.
Haunted by the unforgettable image of Evan s death, Max s entire world is upended as he suddenly finds himself the target of a corporate-government witch-hunt. Fearing for his life and fighting for his own innocence, Max goes on the run with no one to trust and too many unanswered questions.
Max must dust off his own hacking skills and maneuver through the dangerous labyrinth of underground hacktivist networks, ever-shifting alliances and virtual identities all the while hoping to find the truth behind the Silence of Six before it s too late.

How I got it:   This book was part of my recent $200 buying spree during a rare bookstore visit to see a student of my promoting and signing her new book.  I merrily roamed Chapters tugging the wheely cart behind me and tossing into it any books that struck my fancy.  This is how I met Ross, your friendly neighbourhood Chapters employee, who much to my surprise, really new his stuff.  His enthusiasm for particular titles was infectious and I tossed several of them into my cart.  This particular book still bears the sticker with “Staff Pick by Ross” on it.

When I got it:   October 2017

Why I want to read it:  The premise is very “Ready Player One”; young adult sci-fi intrigue with a male lead.  Eager to finish my current read to get to this one.

What If You Could Buy Immortality?

cover_replica

Replica by Jenna Black

I’m not sure how I came to read Replica, but it doesn’t seem to be one that everyone’s talking about (or was talking about) but it should be.

Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake lives in a futuristic society where human replication technology is a reality; carefully controlled by its creator, Paxco. Nadia comes from a high-class family and lives a life of privilege, although she’s not too keen on the paparazzi that follows her everywhere; eager for the latest on the fiance of notorious playboy, Nathan Hayes, heir to Paxco.

They’re not in love but they are friends and everyone appears satisfied with their match. That is until Nate is killed and the wrong person was the last to see him alive. When the new Nate wakes up in the replication chambers he is missing a month of memories. Nadia and Nate set out to find the killer and prevent the world from discovering Nate’s secret, a secret that could destroy everything they know.

Replica has riveting characters and an intricate plot. I loved the friendship between Nadia and Nathan and how they looked after each other. The idea of being unable to die is not new but the twist of being born a replica intrigued me. Also, it was interesting to see how the replicas were treated by their society even if they were the elite when they were “alive”. There are two more books in the series. I highly recommend them all but put the first just that bit above the others.

Ages: Teen

Rating: 5 stars for this part of the series (4 for the others)