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Death Switch Kindle Edition
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|Length: 150 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
Yi Ling has an overbearing family and a loveless relationship. She only want to be free. She works as a technician at a cloning hospital and this gives her the chance to do something about her miserable life. When she secretly clones herself, she trains her clone to take her place so she can escape the day. But Yi Ling soon finds she hasn’t just created an instrument that will serve her life. She has created a breathing, feeling human being with her own plans and desires and who claims her own identity in a way that will leave you breathless.
I enjoy reading Philip K. Dick, and found this story in the same vein the way it plays with the implications of a life-changing technology.
Limited options are a major theme in this book. Every character is held in a web of societal laws and interpersonal relationships that they seem desperate to escape with the exception of Ching Mei who is instead restrained from her freedom and happiness by an illness. Mei is an interesting character within that context because she is at the end of any number of branching choices, even biologically. She is a genetic chimera, the result of two twins merging together in the womb. Two possible lives that instead converge into one. All the choices and freedom in the world converging on her cancer. Yi Li is constrained by domineering parents, a limited income and expectations. Almost as soon as the clone begins developing a personality of its own you can feel the story closing in around her, all of the story's potential outcomes narrowing down until we are left with the inevitable conclusion of every doppelgänger story.
There were some great subtle elements in the early parts of this story relating to Ling's abusive family and the way that she was reflecting that behaviour onto her clone but in the final section all subtlety was abandoned and the cycle of abuse myth is on full display including the inevitable “becoming what you hate” cliché in full force. Using the clone to question social mores and indoctrinated beliefs was a nice touch that brought an insightful angle to the story.
For all that Death Switch has a well tread story concept and elements of predictability when examined; the writing is extremely clean and concise, the near future world is realised through subtle elements and the characters have enough depth to carry the plot. The story follows a formula but it follows it so well and carries you along at such a rapid pace that you barely notice. In places the web of story elements overlaps and it becomes very clever indeed. It is a simple story told well. Which I will take over a complex story told badly any day.
Set in the future, a lab technician decides to 'raise' one of the human donors she grows at work in order to replace herself, thereby theoretically allowing her to escape her lousy life. The complications that arise from this, as well as the ethics brought up, make for something to ponder.
I must admit that the ending left me hoping for a 'Death Switch 2' in order to resolve some things, which is why I didn't give it the full five starts. However, the thought-provoking story combined with Green's style and choice of subject matter has inspired me to read her other works.
A quick read, I would definitely check it out if you're into speculative fiction about the implications of new technologies and the constraints we all face as a part of an oppressive society.
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