Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Clone Betrayal by Steven L. Kent

This novel falls into the genre of science fiction and action. It is set in the years 2515 ans 2516, and the United Authority has lost contact with all but two of its planets following a brutal alien invasion. The United Authority's clone army and spaceship navy are used as scapegoats for the disaster. To get rid of the clones, the army and navy are sent out to retake one of the lost planets, Terraneau, and are marooned in a distant sector of the galaxy. Lieutenant Wayson Harris, a veteran of the alien invasion, is placed in command of the forces retaking the planet. He is the last of the Liberator clones, a dangerous and violent variety of clones that are aware they are clones and that have a hormone-pumping battle reflex. Normal clones are unaware that they are clones and will die if they figure it out. Harrison is resentful of the United Authority that has marooned them and figures out that the clone troops will be used as testing material for a new army and navy. He decides to declare war on the United Authority before it attacks, but must contend with both its new power and betrayal and power struggles within his own ranks. A subplot is his secret relationship with, Ava Gardner, a movie star whose career was ruined when it was discovered she was a clone. The ending is inconclusive, and the plot will probably continue in another book. This book is the fifth in the series.

I had mixed feelings about the book. I have read the preceding book in the series, The Clone Elite, and really enjoyed it. This novel had many unique characters and settings, probably more than the previous book. It also included a female main character, Ava Gardner, which changed the tone of the book and took the focus off the conflict somewhat. The book's plot made sense and was easy to follow, but there was enough intrigue between the various factions to make it interesting. I probably would have generally liked the book if not for the ending, which was inconclusive and depressing. There was also probably not quite enough physical action for me, though this was a lesser concern. The book was, to me, a disappointment after reading the more action-packed and fast-paced The Clone Elite, which wraps its story up more conclusively. It is probably best for people who enjoy science fiction with a moderate pace, more characterization and plot intrigue, only a moderate amount of action, and do not mind having to wait until the next book comes out for the ending; I personally prefer more action and less character development and like books with conclusive endings. It is not necessary to have read any of the previous novels to understand or enjoy this novel.

This book has some sex and violence. There are also references to relations between men, though not involving the protagonist. None of this is too explicit, but only teenagers or adults should read this book.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Royersford, PA United States