Author: Jenna Black
Publisher: Tor Teen, 368 pages
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It definitely wasn't the typical dystopian novel. Nate and Nadia are best friends whose families have arranged their marriage. That's just the way things are done in this world, and Nadia is basically happy with the situation, even though Nate is gay. Nate gets murdered in the beginning of the book, and then he is replicated. The rest of the book is spent solving the mystery of his murder. The prime suspect is Nate's boyfriend (who no one knows about).
In the former United States, corporations have taken over running things. Apparently the government collapsed because people were given too many civil liberties. But how did this actually happen? Was there a war? A little more history regarding that would have been helpful. That premise reminds me of Contiuum, a TV show on the sci-fi channel that I really like. There are basically 3 classes of people, Executives, Employees, and Basement dwellers. The executives have all of the power, the employees work for the executives, and the basement dwellers are the lowest of the low, outcasts of society who are not supposed to mix with the other two classes. There are protests over the class divisions, protests over the replication technology, etc. The society is really strict from a moral standpoint, like the Victorian era.
I was totally engrossed in this book. Nate and Nadia are both flawed, but both show a lot of character development. In the beginning, Nate is pretty selfish and acts rather rashly. He's the typical spoiled party boy. He takes his friendship with Nadia for granted, and Nadia lets him. I had no idea why she considered him such a good friend because he really didn't treat her well at all and she let him run all over her. But after he is replicated, he starts realizing how he has treated people in the past, especially Nadia. And Nadia starts standing up for herself. There's a potential love interest for Nadia and I think we'll see more of that in the next book.
It's a fast-paced, exciting read and I found the world, along with the replication part of the story, to be fascinating. I'm very curious as to where the next book goes.
Posted by: Pam