*At my request, this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
Clone 1672, or Twain as his sponsor calls him, should never have lived. The glitch that happened in his pod marked him for dead before birth. However, Twigg took care of him in hopes that the mutation in Twain's genes would save them all. When Father Krume, the original who created the clones on Clades, learns of Twain's existence, he finally agrees to see if Twain can co-exist as a productive unit in their society of unity and no deviation. As Twain lives with others like him, he starts to see there is more happening here than all the clans are aware of.
Jeff gets to perform with this book. We have a few different voices, but for the most part this book is about a clan of same people. This is a challenge for any narrator to perform a book with clones. Why? Because they are all going to have similar voices. However, they could easily have different personalities that come through tones and articulation when they are away from the collective. Jeff performs this with each clone here. We get the voice of the computer that sounds as though it's through computer speakers, giving it a slightly different feel. When we get several speaking at once saying the same words, Jeff creates that for us to hear.
There is a line early in the book, Chapter 2, that really struck me. It feels as though this is the theme of why the clones live as they do.
"We don't want to be like Earth," Father Krume said. "I have told you how their differences caused the humans many wars and strife."
This comment by the creator of these clones on Clades feels to be key, the thought that created this whole world.
Oh the implications of a perfect world where everyone's the same, and how one small difference can be detected and shunned. The thing is, even if you clone and all live in the same fashion, there are still small attributes that shine through. You get a feel of a few clones being slightly different in different aspects; one's stronger and his first interaction with Twain gives us a feel of a bully, another seems carefree and (maybe) loving, another is pointed out to be interested in himself.
This book felt as though it had points that I could really discuss in a discussion group. For instance, influences of clones all being similar and differences in a group, good or bad and why. That no matter how hard you try, there are traits that could show stronger in the same gene pool no matter how hard you try to make all the same.
I loved the strong feeling of creating a society of clones in Father Krume's manner. We get that feel then watch it slowly crumble to pieces. He thinks this is a perfect concept that's not perfect.
There is more differences in the world than many know or see. But with Twain... there are hints to more secrets with Twain. Twigg knows more than he's let on. When we learn of one huge difference, all the hints of what Twain can or can't do and tiny differences make sense. I loved this big discovery moment. It's about the middle of the book, and feels like a huge reveal readying us for the next steps to come.
This book could easily have been boring, but Realm kept the story moving with curiosity. I was interested in Twain and his situation, then what he learned of others at classes for work. We learn about the world history and that there are differences in the clones as we go, keeping me curious. This is a story teens and adults could read/listen to. Learning the concept the world is suppose to function in, then seeing how it's changing, then the reason behind it all. The story was well written for bringing all the points out through the characters.
Our main character we live through is Twain, but we also get chapters through the eyes of Buster and Chad. The three have different views on the world that's suppose to be the same for all, but isn't. By the end of the story, I saw the clones as individuals people who deserved to live. It was quite a journey to get to know them and their reason for being.