4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever thought of the existence of multiple universes? What would you do if you woke up to find that there are indeed alternate versions of the universe? How would you react if you discovered that there are different versions of yourself living altered lives? The prospect of a multiverse is definitely intriguing. Hence, I was elated to happen upon L. Berger's Replicant. Berger's novel makes the notion of the existence of a multiverse very plausible.
One fine Saturday, physics graduate student, Nick Kovacs, wakes up to find himself in a bizarre situation. Like always, he goes to stock up on groceries. However, he is astonished to find elements of the policies of the erstwhile USSR Union in his very own locality in modern-day Arizona, USA. He thinks that his anxiety is finally making him lose his mind. He quickly returns home and falls asleep. Waking up, he finds that everything is back to normal. However, he is unable to let the event go. Even though he consults his psychiatrist, he also starts looking up people with similar experiences. To his utmost astonishment, he finds an article written about a Cal Poly graduate student, Talia Anderson. He reaches out to Talia. Talia's experiences are eerily similar to his. This assures him that he is not losing his mind. Together they decide to uncover the mystery of the alternate universe into which they both were inadvertently thrust into.
Will Talia and Nick be able to discover the reason why they were the ones who were transported to an alternate universe? What is the relationship between the two worlds? How did that universe fall into the grasp of the Soviet Union? Most importantly, do alternate universes truly exist, or is everything just Nick's hallucination?
My first thought after reading the book was that L. Berger is an amazing author. She beautifully incorporated aspects of physics and history. Berger made me think that there really might exist alternate worlds. The physics behind this concept was masterfully portrayed. Even people who do not have much knowledge about core scientific concepts like partner particles would easily believe in the possibility of an alternate universe after reading the book. This is because of the simple and clear writing style. Berger also talks about a different fate of the USA. She makes us wonder what would happen if the Soviet Union won the Cold War and got its hands on the USA. In the book's replicant universe, a devastating war had changed the course of history. Though the war took place in the 1980s, its effects were still there. Berger also shows the dangers of advanced technologies when in the hands of a tyrannical government.
One of my favorite characters in the book was Eric. The only surviving member of his family, Eric always harbored the hope of crossing over to the alternate universe to see his parents and sisters live a happy and long life. His bonds with his own son, Niko, and Niko's replicant, Nick were adorable. Also, I liked how Nick and Talia interacted with their replicants. Berger's portrayal of Nick and Talia's relationship was relatable. The natural manner in which their feelings grew for each other made me root for them all the more.
I really enjoyed Nick and Talia's story. There is not much that I would change about the book. It is well-edited. I only found a handful of errors. These errors were minor and did not detract from my reading experience.
Keeping in mind the pros and cons, I rate this amazing book 4 out of 4 stars. I was completely hooked till the very end. I would love to read the second book of this intriguing series.
Replicant is a book that has a wide array of themes like romance, science, history, and thriller. It even delves into the devastation wrecked by war. So, this book is bound to appeal to people with myriad tastes. I especially recommend this book to readers who love science fiction novels with a dash of history and romance.
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