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The Clone Republic Mass Market Paperback – March 28, 2006
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About the Author
Born in California but raised in Hawaii, novelist/video game fanatic Steven L. Kent turned a life-long joystick addiction into a 15-year gig writing for publications like MSNBC, Boy’s Life, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Japan Times. After publishing the 600-page The Ultimate History of Video Games, Kent satisfied his Pac-Man-angst and set his sights on fiction. Having just submitted The Clone Elite, the fourth book in his “Wayson Harris Trilogy,” Kent is currently writing a standalone sci-fi novel while he develops a new series based on the Unified Authority.
Top customer reviews
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Mr. Kent's hero, Wayson Harris, lives 500 or so years from now in our galaxy, into which humans have expanded (this is probably one of the few military sci-fi novels in which the almost obligatory map shows the entire galaxy), apparently unimpeded by any other sentient life. It's ruled over by an organization called The Unified Authority, which is based on the U.S. Constitution and, of all things, Plato's Republic.
What the book does:
. Harris, apparently a natural born (but orphaned) human, is sent for military training, where most of his marine in training colleagues are clones, especially bred for obedience. Since Harris can think for himself, not a desirable trait as far as the officer class is concerned, the authorities send him to a backwater post, but he excels there and finds himself noticed (and not only by higher ups in the U.A. hierarchy but also by a mercenary bounty hunter, who keeps conveniently turning up).
. Soon, Harris discovers that he isn't what thought he was, and that because of what he is there are those who would prefer he simply disappear. They keep trying to make this happen, but (no surprise--the story's told in the first person), he stubbornly refuses to die.
. In addition to the excellently done battle scenes, Mr. Kent explains well how the clones are bred with a self-destruct trigger: the clones don't think they're clones, and if they ever discover they are, they suffer heart failure.
What the book doesn't do:
. Although set 500 years in the future, the only thing that seems speculative at all is the intriguing way in which the spacecraft can transport themselves across the galaxy--through "broadcasting mirrors." Also, since Mr. Kent apparently has no interest in other species, he doesn't provide any--and it's hard to imagine there is no other intelligent life in the galaxy.
. Other than the transportation system, everything else seems very 21st century indeed. The doors in hotels still unlock with a key card. The tech in the Marines' battle suits is probably just around the corner.
This is the first of, according to the author's comment, four novels. It stands on its own, but Mr. Kent writes well and serves up great plots and memorable characters. I'll read 'em all.
Events unfold fairly quickly. There are small and large battles to keep things exciting, while things are gradually revealed to Harris. He's young and all he knows is his generic orphanage upbringing and military training, but he has to learn to not only survive battles, but politics. Not much is revealed about his inner thoughts, even though the book is in his point of view. As a simple soldier with a slight difference, there is not a lot of sophisticated introspection going on. I still found him sympathetic as a character and found the concept of the clone military interesting. Some of the characters Harris comes in contact with are also lightly sketched, but still intriguing. I'm definitely interested in reading more in this series.
Most recent customer reviews
Whenever there is a female in the scene. This was published in the 2000's. In 2006.Read more
My only disappointment is that book two is not available in kindle format.
My highest recommendation to date.