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ImitationFrom Goodreads:

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?

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Though the idea of clones is nothing new, Hildenbrand has created a completely unique storyline, giving an old idea new flight.  Imitation follows the life, or lack thereof, of Ven, a scientifically engineered “product” created to serve her authentic if the need ever arises.  What’s different here, though, is the fact that Ven and her friends know they are not “human.”  They’ve been told this from the beginning, when they first awoke as an imitation, and I found this aspect very interesting.  Knowing your purpose is to serve another changes things, quite literally.  The imitations have also been told they cannot feel emotions like love and sorrow, which further adds to Ven’s belief that she’s not human and, therefore, expendable.  As the plot unfolds, throwing Ven into the realm of the living, impersonating her authentic, Raven, in order to draw out a threat against Raven’s life, Ven must make the choice to either fulfill her purpose or to fight back.  Either way, especially with the kill switch in her arm and a growing love for bodyguard Linc, the going will not be easy.

I really liked that, unlike every other novel or movie I’ve seen concerning clones, the imitations in Hildenbrand’s novel are not just meant to be harvested for their parts should their authentic die.  Instead, these authentics know they’ll serve a purpose on the outside, and they’re trained in combat, are physically fit, and are ready for anything, because their purpose is quite broad—from total assimilation of the authentic’s life, to acting as an expendable decoy, to being used for parts, the options are endless.

I loved Ven’s struggle.  As soon as she’s on the outside, her “life” is thrown upside down.  The constant fear of death and fulfilling her purpose, along with the close calls, creates much anticipation for the reader.  I was extremely worried for Ven, and I couldn’t believe that Raven’s father, Titus, could be so cruel, continually taunting Ven with the threat of the kill switch—either die by his hand, or that of Raven’s attackers.  I can’t imagine being in her shoes.

Likewise, there is a mystery afoot.  Who is trying to kill Raven in the first place, and why?  How is Raven’s father, Titus, in cahoots with the creation of imitations?  And, why are more and more imitations suddenly flooding the city?  All these questions lead up to some awesome answers, twisting all we thought we knew and presenting a completely different picture, while some of these answers leave us with even more questions… especially as Hildenbrand leaves readers with a pretty big cliffhanger that left me yelling, that’s it?!

This is a great read that I highly recommend.  The writing is as beautiful as the cover.  Five stars.

5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Don’t forget to pick up book two in the series, Deviation, as well!

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About Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs.

Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit www.phoenixauthorink.com and find out how to create your own Outrageous Life.

She is represented by Rebecca Friedman. You can find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.com.

Or find her here:

Facebook ~ Facebook Fan Page ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Newsletter

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Sector CFrom Goodreads: A rise in stroke-like cases has CDC analyst Mike Shafer on alert. Patients in every demographic in the Great Plains area, from toddlers to healthy adults to the elderly, are succumbing to rapid deterioration – and death.

Veterinarian Donna Bailey, meanwhile, is dealing with an outbreak of her own. It looks like mad cow disease. But to be affecting so many species? Impossible.

Whatever it is, it’s spreading. Fast.

As state and federal agencies race to contain the growing threats, Mike and Donna’s searches for Patient Zero intersect at a big-game compound in a remote corner of North Dakota. There they find their answer buried in a secret thought extinct for 10,000 years. A secret entrepreneur Walt Thurman will kill to protect.

But even if Mike and Donna can escape the compound with the secret of Sector C, it may already be too late.

Because after today, extinct no longer means forever.

Ripped from today’s research and tomorrow’s headlines, SECTOR C is a near-future medical thriller fans of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook are sure to enjoy.
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Have you ever wondered what would happen if we suffered a country or worldwide lethal pandemic? While we’ve had our share of SARS, Mad Cow, and even Bird Flu, those virus’ were contained relatively quickly—but what if it was an even higher scale of outbreak? Sector C takes a look at how the government would and could respond should an outbreak like SARS or Mad Cow happen on a much higher level, and let me tell you, it isn’t pretty—though I’m sure it’s more realistic than we’d like to admit. I was appalled by the situations and reactions of some characters in this novel, but realistically it calls into question the philosophical debate of the greater good. Is it better to let a limited number suffer for the greater good, or should all suffer? Sullivan looks at this question as her riveting novel unfolds, and while it isn’t a pretty picture, it is definitely one to make readers really think.

This is a very well-written novel that takes a look at cloning. It’s intense and very interesting–both the situations and the characters kept me glued to the pages, and I highly enjoyed it.

The novel follows different characters as it unfolds—Donna the rural vet, Mike the CDC analyst, and the workers at Triple E—allowing readers to gain omniscient insight into everything that is happening across the spectrum as a rash of animals and people begin to show symptoms of stroke… ultimately leading to their death. Though it sounds scientific in nature, and it is, Sector C is easy to follow and I found myself highly interested in all the characters and the situations they found themselves in. Sullivan does a great job explaining everything, but not boring readers with scientific data or jargon, which was much appreciated. I highly suggest giving this novel a read. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Deviation Banner___________________________________________________________

DeviationFrom Goodreads: Protect. Obey. Sacrifice.

These words are the mantra of my existence. I’m not sure if it’s TitusRogen inspiring my desire to go against what I am or my own DNA deviating. All I can think is how Titus will look when he meets his end. It trumps even my wish for freedom. In this moment, I want nothing more than to watch the life bleed from Titus’s body. And I want it at my own hands.

Titus. The Creator.

I stare at my palms. Strength aside, I wonder if I’m capable of taking a life. A human life; one with a soul. And I wonder if that isn’t easier than taking the life of an Imitation. At least humans have souls that live on. What do I have after this? Where will I go? Back into a syringe? Will Titus recycle me? Or will I be lost forever down a lab drain?

We don’t deserve that.

We don’t deserve him.

Deserving and receiving are so very different here. And I am beginning to understand, to beat someone in this world, I‘ll have to play in it.

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Hildenbrand’s second novel in the Clone Chronicles is indeed just as riveting as the first, Imitation, bringing readers deeper into the world of Ven and Linc as they attempt to thwart and, ultimately survive, the antics of Titus Rogen, the city’s most affluent and dangerous tycoon.

For those new to this amazing series, the “imitations” in Hildenbrand’s series are created in a factory, much like those seen in movies such as The Island.  However, instead of serving a sole purpose of harvesting should their authentics (the real human out in the world) hurt themselves, imitations are meant for a greater, more devious purpose, one neither the imitations themselves, nor the general populace, knows anything about—and it isn’t until the end of this second installment that readers learn of Titus’ real agenda for their creation.

Titus is the epitome of evil, and his treatment of Ven and all those around him makes me ill. Yet, Ven doesn’t give up in the face of adversity.  Instead, she struggles to fight back, knowing that stepping out of line could result in not only her own death, but also the death of those she holds most dear, such as Linc, Obadiah, and all her fellow imitations. Ven is an extremely strong character, one I deeply admire, even if I do sometimes yell at her through the pages. She is an imitation, after all; she hasn’t grown up in the real world, and she isn’t always able to understand the events that are happening around her until it’s too late, so it’s understandable that she sometimes makes… bad decisions. However, she is determined to do what is right, regardless of her own safety, and I adore that about her.

On top of great characterization, Deviation also has just the right amount of steamy romance and action to create the perfect blend.  With Ven and Linc having to pretend they aren’t in love and that they know nothing of the whereabouts of the hidden imitations, tiptoeing around Titus and his vast security forces, there is more than enough tension within the pages as the story unfolds.

And as I mentioned before, with this second installments unfolding, it becomes apparent to readers just why Titus created such a vast array of imitations in the first place—keeping their creation secret—and it’s even more sinister that I ever expected. With a shocking conclusion that will have all readers on the edge of their seat in anticipation of the third novel, I highly recommend everyone read this series. Five stars.

5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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