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Thursday, November 14, 2013

[BLOG TOUR] The Twins on Thursday: Replica by Jenna Black

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: Replica
Author: Jenna Black
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: July 16 2013
Publishing House: Tor
ISBN: 9780765333711
Source of Copy: Borrowed copy from Maricar of Black Plume


Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family on her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image - no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathan Hayes is heir of Paxco - controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren't in love, they've grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match.

Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn't know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate jus discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


After a tryst gone wrong, the original Nate is gone and in his place is his replica, who is very much Nate down to the very tips of his toes. The only difference is that this Nate has lost the last two weeks of memories leading to the original Nate's death. While Nadia isn't opposed to the arranged marriage with Nate, she's hardly leaping with joy either, especially when she is the wrong gender Nate is actually interested in. Since Nadia was the last one who's seen him alive, and as if she weren't already in the spotlight, Nadia's every moves are under public scrutiny, and there are people who will do anything to watch her fall. To clear his lover's name, Nate, with a bit of Nadia's help, needs to piece together clues that might actually shed some light on the real murder, but neither are prepared for the bigger conspiracy they discover.

What we liked about Replica is Black's portrayal of a gay character. There was no stereotyping, despite their society's upturned nose towards gay people, and Nate is nothing more but a boy who has a penchant for handsome men. Nothing out of the ordinary. What Nate is though is a spoiled jerk who might have daddy issues and may be too rash for his own good. That's not to say he doesn't have a good heart, which he does, and while he may be a douche, Nate has good intentions. We found his protectiveness of Nadia quite endearing actually.

Now we though Nadia was a simpering little female when the story started, but as it progressed we witnessed surprising character growth and boy, were our initial perceptions wrong. Nadia's got backbone and a pretty good head on her shoulders to deal with all the obstacles tossed her way. 

There wasn't much romance on Nadia's side, although we've got our eye set on Dante. Nate's relationship with Bishop was quite cute but after the original Nate's death, we're just not sure what Bishop thinks about replica Nate. And seeing as how Bishop's part of a whole larger operation it's obvious that things are going to be tenuous between Nate and Bishop.

The only thing we probably didn't like much about Replica was the ending, and it was only a fairly tiny, tiny amount of dislike. While Nate and Nadia may not know much about machinations, it will be quite silly to blame them for not being very meticulous when it comes to these sorts of things.

Just when you think that Replica is just one of many dystopian novels out there, it constantly proves that it is not. Just when you expect the story and its characters to take a left turn, it actually makes a right AND a loop to go with it. Replica has indubitably exceeded our expectations, and we are undoubtedly  very excited for its sequel, Resistance. 



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