Thursday, October 18, 2012
Beta by Rachel Cohn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Elysia is a sixteen year old girl who has just emerged into the world. She is a teenage clone, one of the first, a Beta. Elysia has been created in order to serve the residents of Demesne, an island paradise created for the very rich. Demesne is also engineered. Everything is perfect even the air and water. The clones are created because the relaxing effect of the air does not affect them and human workers would not be productive. Elysia’s perfect life does not last long. She realizes that she can taste, feel emotions and remember her First’s memories. She is a defect and if the humans discover this truth she will be expired. There are other defects on the island and they have started an underground movement to begin an insurrection for the freedom of all clones.
Beta is a captivating science fiction story like no other. Rachel Cohn creates a world that may be possible in the not so distant future. Elysia’s internal struggles represent issues children, teens and adults all have problems with, yet are unable to articulate to ourselves and others. Many turns in the story were expected and that is fine. Of course this first novel in a series has a twist/cliff hanger in the last paragraph that has you yelling, “What!!!!!!” Actually 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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