3 out of 4 stars
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Kalin Taylor started his freshman year off at the Sanderson College of Arts & Science, and ended it, before even making it to a single class. He never imagined that completing a stupid dare as his initiation into a fraternity house would completely alter his world. But, that’s exactly what happened after being asked to sneak into a top-secret laboratory, where they create human clones, to take a selfie with Project Tao. Projects, as explained by Jude Austin in this science fiction novel, are experimental human clones created to sell into a futuristic form of slavery. Tao, being the tech company’s current project.
Kalin manages to get caught sneaking in and ends up agreeing to stay for a couple of weeks, allowing Gen Tech to try a few new medical experiments on him. In return, he will not be killed and have his dead body sent back to his home planet with the word ‘traitor’ carved into his flesh.
He was promised nothing too drastic. He was promised nothing dangerous would be done to him. He was promised he could leave in two weeks. All these promises were lies. As the plot unfolds, the reader is left feeling anger, sadness, disbelief… but also…. hope. Hope that in the end, good will overcome evil. Hope that no matter how broken and bruised a person may be, they can find an inner strength that ends up saving them.
The Projects begin to work together. They also begin to work out an escape plan. In doing so, each learns about themselves as they learn about each other. Will they be able to escape? Even if they escape, will they be able to live a “normal” life? Will Project Kata ever truly feel 100% human again? Will Project Tao, a true human clone, be able to live outside of a laboratory?
Project Tao is an interesting futuristic type novel, set in the year 3391, which provokes the readers to gauge their own moral compass. I would recommend to push through the first few pages, which in my opinion were a bit bland, and let yourself become absorbed as you take a journey into the future. Jude Austin earns a 3 out of 4 stars from me AND an interested reader for the second installment of this series.
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