Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook
Adopted off the black market, Alexander Mitchell, has no idea his DNA is copyrighted and property of military weapons giant Texacom Defense. Nor that his DNA is being used to develop an army of clones. When the company discovers he was not properly disposed of 17 years ago, they send an assassin copy, BETA23, to terminate Xan and cover it up.
After he narrowly escapes BETA23’s first attempt, Xan teams up with Lacey, a genetically engineered genius he’s surprised to find common ground with— only they’re awkward together. Half of the time she stares at Xan like the science project he is and the other half…let’s just say Xan can’t keep his eyes off her lips.
When they manage to capture a company copy by luck and sheer stupidity on Xan’s part, Lacey is determined to see the good in their prisoner to the point she believes BETA23 can be persuade to give them the intelligence they need to keep the company forever off Xan’s back. Xan’s not sure if he can trust the darker version of himself, not when it means gambling with the lives of his family and the possibility of losing Lacey.
Especially by an author who was diagnosed with learning disabilities as a child. In Anderson's case, reading and writing were very difficult for her.
I'm always especially impressed by people who overcome difficulties, and then turn around and spit in the face of the problem.
Anyway, as far as the plot goes, there's nothing super-duper new here.
It's readable, and it's a reasonably entertaining book. Although, I personally think some of the story could have used some tightening up by an editor, and possibly a different cover.
Why a different cover?
Well, while the cover looks very cool, at no time in the book does anyone jump out of a building. In fact, the 'secret clone factory' is underground.
Xan was actually a fairly realistically written character. He wasn't some awesomely perfect kid, but he also wasn't a total turd, either. His friend, Miles, was an asshole and a bully, and I thought it was interesting that Xan never really got why the other kids hated him so much. I mean, he knows Miles is a jerk, but he never really admits that the kid has done some serious damage to other people's psyches. While it was an annoying blind spot for a main character to have, it was also a fairly realistic one.
As far as Xan's parents go, I'm not sure what to think about them. On one hand, I like that they aren't portrayed as absentee parents, but on the other...
Exactly how dumb do you have to be to buy a baby out of the back of a friggin' van in some dark alley?!
P.S. If you've done this, I think it would be wise to immediately start checking your child for signs of top secret genetic enhancements. 'Cause your kid might want to know if they're part of a government science project when they get older.
Lacey was a pretty cool character, but I was a little weirded out by her 'piercing stare' after a while. Sure, she was an off the charts genius, but her real super-power was her ability to stab you with her eyes. Evidently, she can use these stabby-eyes to keep all the men in her life in line.
I want that super-power!
Oh, who am I kidding...
I've got an awesome set of crazy-eyes already!
How else do you explain my husband's willingness to fold clothes and wash dishes?
As an added bonus, I've been gifted with an amazing Fishwife Screech that allows me to augment my she-devil glare.
All I need is a cape.
The plot goes something like this:
Someone tries to kill Xan, and then pin attempted murder and arson on him. Since all of his 'friends' have deserted him, he turns to the resident genius (Lacey) for help. She, in turn, reaches out to her two crazy pals for help.
That part of the story peters out pretty fast for some reason...
Xan and Lacey make some discoveries about Xan's genetic origins.
Lacey is supah-rich, and has an entire lab full of genetic testing equipment in her old nursery.
Next up is Beta. He's the clone who has been sent to dispose of Xan. Of course, due to Lacey's hyper-intelligence, they manage to capture him and hold him prisoner in her storage room while they dig around for answers.
FYI, Beta's POV is the most interesting, because you actually get a chance to see him grow and change.
Somehow, an odd love triangle sorta/kinda happens at this point. Only I couldn't really figure out if Lacey and Beta actually liked each other, or were just good friends. In fact, I couldn't figure out what was up with Xan and Lacey, either. She seemed weirded out by kissing him, and the ending was confusing...
Anyway. These three need to find a way to fool a multi-billion dollar corporation into thinking that Xan is dead, Lacey is clueless, and Beta is a different clone.
Hopefully, the next book will explain some of the loose plot threads, and things will make more sense. For the most part, though, this was a fun and easy read.