Official Review: A Fistful of Clones by Seaton Kay-Smith

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Official Review: A Fistful of Clones by Seaton Kay-Smith

Post by Jesska6029 » 17 Mar 2015, 19:02

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Fistful of Clones" by Seaton Kay-Smith.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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What constitutes a life? Is a life worth less when it has been created as a result of genetic modification?

A Fistful of Clones by Seaton Kay-Smith requires readers to consider the questions above. The science fiction novel follows the protagonist, Henry. He is 26, and he seems to be stuck in a rut. He loses his job and his girlfriend in the same day, and he is left without any hope of a light at the end of the tunnel. Desperate and without anything to lose, he signs up to be a paid medical subject, and it all pretty much goes downhill from there. Henry believes he has made easy money, but his life is turned inside out when he is required to cleanup a failed experiment. Informed that clones of him have been made and have subsequently escaped, Henry must do everything he can to prevent his clones from ruining his entire life. However, on his journey he is forced to confront his own apathy and question what he has been told. His journey is one of life, murder, self-discovery and redemption.

Kay-Smith has a gift for description. The settings and various locations in this novel are depicted with just enough detail, allowing readers to picture everything in their minds, without being smothered by too many adjectives. The dialogue is equally wonderful. The conversations between characters give the right amount of insight into their own thoughts and motives, while advancing the plot.

The narrative switch is a great move by Kay-Smith. Henry does not know everything, and if readers were stuck with him the whole time, the narrative would have been lackluster at best. It’s great to know more than the protagonist. Plus, getting into the minds of Greta, Dr. Efflund, Sammy and the clones provides information on why they act in certain ways when we are once again thrust back into seeing things from Henry’s perspective.

The characters in the novel are likable and unlikeable in all the right ways. I think many readers will understand and identify with Henry’s feelings of being stuck, and his struggle to connect with people emotionally, which is shown when he interacts with Sammy. Readers will have to hold back from mentally shaking Henry because of how painfully gullible and naïve he is at certain points. At first, I believed Henry was going to be a static character, but I realized his growth comes with his growing understanding of the meaning of life.

My only critique is that there should have been more time spent on the actual clones. The first few encountered do not really have a lot of personality or weight to them. However, the later ones are scene-stealers. They are complex and interesting. It’s a delight to hear their thoughts, but I wish they had been flushed out further. I was left craving more information about what kind of people they truly are.

I give A Fistful of Clones 4 out of 4 stars, and I recommend it to those who enjoy science fiction and moral dilemmas. I thought about this book long after I finished it, and I questioned my own responses to the essential questions the book asks. Give A Fistful of Clones a go, and be prepared to ask yourself, “What constitutes a life”.

***
A Fistful of Clones
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Post by Airini » 19 Mar 2015, 02:54

Yeah i agree. A great book. What Hooked me was the balance of humour-wit-and insight into human foibles. I Thought the development of individual characters in the later clones was due to their being in the world longer than the earlier ones who seemed to be closer if not identcal to Henry. If i has to nitpick ... there could be more development with the girlfriend and a scene between her and Greta would have been good to show the different female characters. Greta was an interesting character but Sammy i did not really come alive for me. But they are just nitpicks. I thought the book was awesome and look forward to reading more from this guy.

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Post by Jesska6029 » 19 Mar 2015, 05:02

Airini wrote:I thought the book was awesome and look forward to reading more from this guy.
I completely agree! I can't wait to read more from this author.
“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” ~J.K. Rowling

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Post by bookowlie » 19 Mar 2015, 09:50

Great review. You make the story sound so interesting! I am not a big fan of the science fiction genre, but I do love a good book. :) I may add this one to my reading list.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

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Post by Jesska6029 » 19 Mar 2015, 13:17

bookowlie wrote:Great review. You make the story sound so interesting! I am not a big fan of the science fiction genre, but I do love a good book. :) I may add this one to my reading list.

Thanks! Science fiction is a hard genre to get into, but it can be super fun to read. I hope you add it!
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Post by Valleygirl1985 » 20 Mar 2015, 12:14

Great review! Science Fiction is rarely my genre of choice, but you make this one sound good!

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Post by Jesska6029 » 20 Mar 2015, 15:36

Valleygirl1985 wrote:Great review! Science Fiction is rarely my genre of choice, but you make this one sound good!

Thanks! Definitely think about putting it on your list!
“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” ~J.K. Rowling

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Post by Valleygirl1985 » 21 Mar 2015, 09:36

I definitely will!

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Post by Janiac02 » 22 Mar 2015, 08:55

I lean toward the Fantasy genre more often than Sci-Fi, but every now and again something will catch my eye. The concept is intriguing, I think I'll put it on my "want to read" shelf :)

Lovely review!

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Post by PashaRu » 22 Mar 2015, 09:11

Thanks for a well-written review. Good analysis of the book. Sounds like an interesting story.
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Post by Jesska6029 » 23 Mar 2015, 11:22

PashaRu wrote:Thanks for a well-written review. Good analysis of the book. Sounds like an interesting story.
Thank you very much! It's really interesting!

-- 23 Mar 2015, 11:23 --
Janiac02 wrote:I lean toward the Fantasy genre more often than Sci-Fi, but every now and again something will catch my eye. The concept is intriguing, I think I'll put it on my "want to read" shelf :)

Lovely review!
Thank you! Science fiction can be a bit difficult for me sometimes, but I have always enjoyed it. I love fantasy too!
“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” ~J.K. Rowling

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Post by Tammyellelamb » 24 Mar 2015, 13:55

Great detail here. I really like narrative switches in novels. I'm not too sure if the premise fits what I like, though.

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Post by Jesska6029 » 24 Mar 2015, 15:35

Tammyellelamb wrote:Great detail here. I really like narrative switches in novels. I'm not too sure if the premise fits what I like, though.
I think it's a really unique story. I really wasn't too sure about it before I picked it up, but I'm really glad I did!
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Post by Tammyellelamb » 24 Mar 2015, 18:41

I'll definitely put it on my list to read soon!

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Post by Jesska6029 » 24 Mar 2015, 18:47

Tammyellelamb wrote:I'll definitely put it on my list to read soon!
That's great! I think you will enjoy it!
“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” ~J.K. Rowling

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