Replica by Jenna Black
Series: Replica Trilogy #1
Published by Tor Books
Published on: July 16, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Breathtaking new YA SF from the author of the Faeriewalker series
Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in the Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image — no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.
Nathan Hayes is the heir of Paxco — controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren’t in love, they’ve grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match.
Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive.
When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn’t know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.
It is a known fact that I don’t read many young adult novels. However, there are some authors that I’ll try. Jenna Black is one of those authors. I’ve read her adult novels and even her other YA trilogy, The Faeriewalker Series. I’ve always enjoyed her books, so I thought I would give this one a try.
The world that is built here is very interesting. It takes place in the future and the government as we know has collapsed. This story takes place in what was once New York City. There is technology to not only clone humans, but also replicate their memories into that clone. If you die, they can bring you back. You will remember everything since the last time you were scanned.
We have two main characters in this book. Nate (18) and Nadia (16). They are engaged to be married, as arranged by their parents. Nate’s father is the chairman of Paxco, the largest corporation in this city. Nate is his father’s only son and heir. He is also gay, but is friends with Nadia. Nate has fallen in love with another boy from Basement, which is the really bad part of town. Nate is hiding his sexual preferences to prevent being “reprogrammed”. Nadia is the second daughter in her family, so she isn’t really heir to anything.
At the very beginning of Replica, Nate is murdered while at a party. The murder is pinned on Kurt Bishop, Nate’s lover and valet. Nadia is the last person who saw him alive. Nate is brought back as a Replica. His last scan was two weeks prior, so he doesn’t remember anything of the past two weeks when he wakes up. Nate and Nadia both agree that Kurt Bishop is not the real killer. They set out together to solve this murder. Can you imagine trying to be a detective in your own murder case??
In this world, status is very important and being heir to a great family can determine a lot about your life. There are Executives, Employees and Basement Dwellers. The majority of our characters are Executives or part of the family. We do meet some Basement Dwellers, but very few of the middle of the road Employees.
The characters in this story are not perfect. Nate and Nadia are both raised in an elitist society. They have always gotten what they’ve wanted, but have also lived a very sheltered life. While Nate is gay, he isn’t a stereotypical gay man. He is just a guy who likes other guys. He is a bit of a brat in the fact that he has always had everyone bow down to him as he will likely become the next Chairman of Paxco Industries. He doesn’t take things well when things don’t go his way.
Nadia is a girl who was raised in a society where she is just meant to be a pretty sidekick to her future husband. She isn’t a Kardashian though. She befriended the only black girl in her school, whose family just barely makes into Executive ranks. She abhors the other more traditional society girls.
Replica is very well written with a lot of twists and turns. There isn’t much of a love interest. There is the relationship between the two boys, but that isn’t pretty down played. There is also a potential love interest between Nadia and Dante, an employee that is assigned as a personal assistant, but is really a spy for the Chairman. I liked that this book didn’t have typical YA tropes of love triangles and teenage angst. I’ve very interested to see how book two of the series goes.
The Replica Trilogy