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?
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.
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Buy it on Amazon for just $3.99!
Don’t forget to pick up book two in the series, Deviation, as well!
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.
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