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Project Cain Hardcover – September 3, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442476966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442476967
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fans of Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers (2012) know the travails of being the son of a serial killer. But what if you were the exact clone of a killer? That’s the horrific truth revealed to 16-year-old Jeff, who was created as a genetic replica of Jeffrey Dahmer. Worse: there’s a whole lab filled with young clones: Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and more. Even worse: six of them have escaped for the ultimate road-trip killing spree. Enter ex–Delta Force soldier Castillo, who is hired to roundup the teen psychos and takes Jeff along, at first because of Jeff’s insight into the situation, but later because Castillo starts to like the kid, regardless of his DNA. It’s a hell of an idea, though it’s less splashy than you’d expect, delivered in a numb, mostly dialogue-free narration that focuses on Jeff’s inner torment regarding what kind of man he is becoming. Info dumps on various killers (often with mug shots) are clunky but grimly fascinating. An adult companion novel, Cain’s Blood (p.00), tells the same tale (more fully) from Castillo’s viewpoint. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

Review

"In PROJECT CAIN powerful newcomer Geoffrey Girard brings serious game with a novel that blends science and horror in a killer of a thriller. Highly recommended." -- Jonathan Maberry, bestselling author of FIRE & ASH and EXTINCTION MACHINE

"This book is an absolute grabber from the get go. Geoffrey Girard has taken an outrageous idea and made it utterly and terrifyingly believable. Fortified by solid historic and scientific foundations, the story is as convincing as it is frightening, with enough twists and surprises to keep even the most jaded reader captivated."  -- Todd Strasser, bestselling author of THE WAVE and GIVE A BOY A GUN

“In Project Cain powerful newcomer Geoffrey Girard brings serious game with a novel that blends science and horror in a killer of a thriller. Highly recommended.” (Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Fire & Ash and Extinction Machine)

“This book is an absolute grabber from the get go. Geoffrey Girard has taken an outrageous idea and made it utterly and terrifyingly believable. Fortified by solid historic and scientific foundations, the story is as convincing as it is frightening, with enough twists and surprises to keep even the most jaded reader captivated.” (Todd Strasser, Edgar Award nominee and bestselling author of The Wave and Give a Boy a Gun)

More About the Author

Geoffrey Girard is an award-winning author writing thrillers, historicals, dark fantasy, young adult novels, and short speculative fiction for publications including WRITERS OF THE FUTURE and the recent Stoker-nominated DARK FAITH anthology. Born in Germany and shaped in New Jersey, Geoffrey graduated from Washington College with a literature degree and worked as an advertising copywriter and marketing manager before shifting to high school English teacher. Since, he's earned an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University and is the Department Chair of English at a private boys' school in Cincinnati.

Simon and Schuster will publish two Girard novels in Fall, 2013: CAIN'S BLOOD, a techno thriller, and PROJECT CAIN, a spinoff novel for Young-Adult readers.

For more information, visit www.GeoffreyGirard.com.

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Customer Reviews

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I tried really hard to like this book.
R. Webb
It's a dark, chilling discovery tale...and one that ultimately will leave the question of nature vs. nurture up to you to decide.
Chance Encounters
The book is filled with short, simple sentences and repetitive statements.
Evie Seo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Project Cain
Geoffrey Girard
Simon & Schuster, Sep 3 2013, $17.99
ISBN 9781442476967

When Jeffrey Jacobson was five he was in an accident in which his mom died and his memory was negatively impacted. He has three photos of his mom and has been told for years that she loved him.

When he turned sixteen he learned the truth from his father Dr. Gregory Jacobson the geneticist. Eight years ago, Jeffrey was cloned as part of a project creating super combat soldiers from serial killers' DNA. His "father" was not the scientist, but Jeffrey Dahmer. Before he can be transferred from his "loving" home to the installation where he was made in Dahmer's image, Fed Castillo rescues Jeff. The serial killer's offspring agrees to help Castillo hunt down his peers who are living up to their infamous fathers; unaware that a new deadlier diabolical Dahmer pursues them.

This taut young adult thriller uses the premise that naturing in almost all cases supersedes nurturing as the bad DNA imprint overwhelms positive life lessons; which leaves fans to wonder whether Castillo should trust Jeff to have his back and not shoot his back. My husband, who worked for the Army, says the military would not want serial killers in the service; besides being loners psychologically unfit for a cohesive unit, think of the bad PR from news media telling grieving moms that their child died from a Dahmer clone killing Americans in a friendly fire incident. Mostly told from the shocked Jeff's perspective, teenage readers and older curious fans who have read the adult version (see Cain's Blood) will enjoy this cautionary tale.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chance Encounters on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Project Cain is not intended as a quick skim for a distracted reader - it explores in detail what happens after a fifteen year old teen discovers everything he's ever known is a lie. Even worse: not only has he been genetically engineered from the DNA of a monster, he's quite possibly destined to repeat that monster's atrocities. Step by step you'll see the world through the reluctant hero's eyes, as he learns everything he can about who and what he is, never knowing who to trust. It's a dark, chilling discovery tale...and one that ultimately will leave the question of nature vs. nurture up to you to decide.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on September 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Geoffrey Girard's debut is two pronged. There's CAIN'S BLOOD, his adult novel, which I definitely want to read. Then there's PROJECT CAIN, the YA novel, covering the same events from a different point of view. They both focus on the hunt for six teenagers, all products of the same scientific experiment.

The Cain duo has a high-concept, ridiculous premise that's quite fun. A government project cloned serial killers to try to create a group of killers they could use. Some boys were treated normally, others were abused. Nature versus nurture put to the test. I recently heard someone say that most mad scientists in stories are actually mad engineers. Well, this is definitely a mad scientist - he's got some hypothesis. And Jeff Jacobson just discovered that he's the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer and his dad is, well, a mad scientist.

(Side note: It is hilarious that Jeff insists that unlike most teens he knows exactly what his dad does, that his dad is a scientist. Like there's only one kind of scientist.)

I was partially drawn to this novel because I'm still reeling from Derf Backderf's MY FRIEND DAHMER. The other part of me loves mad science and thrillers where two unlikely partners must join forces to save the day. Girard definitely kept the pages turning, which is exactly what this book needs. I thought some events where too glossed over. I think that's because they're expanded on in CAIN'S BLOOD. But this is a surprisingly internal read. Even the dialogue is rendered without quotes, the form implying the words are how Jeff perceives them, rather than a faithful copy of the speech.

Jeff, indeed, has much to process. At time his angst over possibly being a killer made me laugh, but that's because Jeff is a bit of a weenie.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you've known me for a while, you're probably well aware of two things. First, I am a very forgiving and easy to please reader who rarely dislikes a book enough to give it anything less than 3 stars. Second, I love creepy stories, dark and disturbing premises and unsettling plots. That being said, I have never read a book before with such fantastically blood-chilling premise and such poor execution. Project Cain had so much potential that was never realized, it would've surely broken my heart, if I wasn't so damn mad at this book!

So what's the deal here?
First of all, there is no dialogue in this book. Non. The narration is scattered, which makes the plot extremely hard to follow. It's also nonsensical and boring, filled with tons of scientific info that, while some of it genuinely interesting, was for the most part unnecessary and irrelevant. And while this alone was quite unpleasant, it was something I could still overlook and get past. What I really couldn't stand, though, was the narrator himself. We're following the *adventures* of Jeff Jacobson, a teenage kid who one day discovers that he's a clone of a serial killer from 1980's, Jeffrey Dahmer. What a unique and intriguing concept! I just couldn't wait to get started on this one, but boy, was I disappointed! For a book that follows a clone of one of the most dangerous serial killers in the history of the US, there is remarkably little to no exploration of the hero's psyche. Nothing about how he feels about his discovery. Nothing about any moral struggles, repressed urges to kill, dark thoughts (or their lack thereof). Non of these things are addressed. The narration is dry and emotionless. Like a mid term paper on *the day I found out that I am an evil version of Dolly the sheep.
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