Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand

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Title: Imitation (Clone Chronicles #1)
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
Release Date: March 12th 2013
Publisher: Accendo Press
Source: Sent for review
Rating: ★★★


Everyone is exactly like me. 
There is no one like me. 
The rough fabric of my cotton nightgown chafes so I lie very still. They say my discomfort comes from being built like one accustomed to niceties. How is that fair when I myself have never experienced anything but copies of the real thing? 
My entire life is an imitation. 
I am an Imitation. 
I’ve been here five years. Training. Preparing. Waiting.
And now I have a letter.
My assignment has begun. 
I am a prisoner.
I am not Raven Rogen.
I am here to die.

My Review: 

I love science fiction stories that are about human cloning since it's almost always entertaining and it raises ethical and philosophical questions about cloning humans and what it truly means to be a human being. 

Imitation is set in the present, or at least twenty minutes into the future, where clones, (called Imitations) are bred and stored (separated by gender) in a huge facility called by the Imitations, Twig City. They are taught and trained to mimic and surveillance their Authentics, the humans they were modeled from, in order to be completely like them if they are needed to replace them at any time. 

Ven is modeled after Raven Rogen, the daughter of Titus, who controls and is the 'creator' of the cloning program. 

The book is short, only 272 pages and the author completes the first arc of the series without rushing through everything. The story felt longer and more drawn out than the 272 pages would suggest.

My problem with this novel was that everything felt superficial. I didn't connect with the characters or the plot. It was too manufactured. I saw the strings being pulled if you know what I mean. Nothing felt natural

The romance between Ven and Linc was obviously set up from the very beginning and I was indifferent to their romance because of the reason above. 

The clone set up was believable and realistic enough, but my only issues was that, if the clones are bred and taught that they are not human, that their only purpose is to serve, why give them different names than their Authentic? Also, did Ven pick out her name or was it given to her?

Another issue is that Obadiah, who is a man, his Imitation is a woman and that is never explained either. Obadiah was presented to the readers as cisgendered the entire time, so unless he was trans or expressed that he wanted to be somewhere else in the gender spectrum, what was the point? Imitations are there to replace the Authentics if they end up in danger so if something happened to Obadiah, what purpose would it serve that his clone is a woman? This choice was made by his father, which further confused me and didn't make sense.

Also, where is the real Raven? Is she dead? Is she underground in one her father's torture chambers? 

All in all, three stars. Solid plot, but the writing wasn't the strongest, especially the descriptions which were clunky at times and included this infamously terrible line: "I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding." Ugh.

The sequel, Deviation, is out now, if you're interested. 

Have you read Imitation? What did you think? 

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