Well hello! Today you’re in for more than a little DOUBLE TROUBLE because today you’re about to get a bananarific double dose of monkey!
That’s right! My sister, the Monkey Baby, is back!
(Yes she’s completely barking mad 😉 )
And we’re about to do a review for a book about CLONING (seeing doubles yet?!) And, yes, I know some of you might be musing isn’t this topic a bit been-there-done-that… Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, then YOU WOULD BE WRONG! Because it has never been done this way before…
Monkey Baby: Dum dum dummmmmmmmm… unleash the cat
Very catty opening from the Monkey Baby! Anyway, Replica is more than a little special, as it’s a book you can read THREE WAYS– you can read either Gemma’s story then Lyra’s or vice versa or flip the book between chapters (I picked the latter). And I know that might sound gimmicky to some readers, but, trust me, IT’S NOT. The execution is so bloody marvellous that it was far from just being a cheap trick and was actually brilliantly clever. The dual perspectives meshed together perfectly, interlocking and yet keeping their individuality.
Monkey Baby: It is exceptionally fun to read it this way. Makes me feel like I’m hanging from the tree….
As you do. Anyhoo, Gemma and Lyra gripped me as characters right from the start. The tone of each girl was completely distinct that I felt the stark contrast in their lives. They mirror each other like poorly carved doppelgangers. Still, their stories were so distinct that I never felt like there was a main character or viewpoint- which was certainly intentional, because every time I flipped the book I wished I was back with the other character (in a good way)
Monkey Baby: Zis is true ya but Lyra is my favourite banana
Flicking back and forth between the two stories, I was struck by little similarities- like their tendency to bestow nicknames- and canyon-like differences between them. It stopped me being surefooted of anything and set me up to plunge into shocking twists and turns. Not only did the plot go from zero to sixty in a millisecond, it also created an air mystery and doubt to the story- you can’t be certain who’s who…
Monkey Baby: I dropped all my bananas in shock… poor bananas
What really took this to the next level for me was the literary references and the play with WHO is Frankenstein. I also appreciated the little ways stories like The Little Prince were woven into the plot- it just gave it a little something extra.
Monkey Baby: I don’t want to be Frankenstein!! ARE we all Frankensteins?!?!?!?!?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I’M THE MONKEYBABY
I did have one minor spoilery niggling complaint- and that was I didn’t buy the nurse Don’t Even Think About It’s character- simply because she was far too contradictory a creation. She was religious, so didn’t believe the doctor’s should be playing god, yet worked in the facility that created clones and also seemed not to care they were killing clones (even though most religious people I know believe life is sacred). Yes, yes, I know, odd thing to pick up on- it just opened up a lot of unanswered questions as far as I was concerned and could have been dealt with better elsewhere.
Monkey Baby: Do monkey’s even have a religion? Do clones? Either way that fruitcake was not believable.. hear hear sista!
Annnd one last problem was that it was not the most polished of endings- so it took me a moment to realise it was left open for a sequel.
Monkey Baby: VAT are you talking about? It felt finished to Moi
Ooh err… Looks like I just got told. Still an excellent read:
5 bananas from me meow :p
So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me and the Monkey Baby know in the comments!