Ringer Did Not Quite Replicate Replica…

ringer review

But it was still pretty original! I’m back today with a review for the second book in the Replica duology- a story about clones… (ooh err… scary stuff!) And as with the review for Replica, I’m joined by my sister the Monkey Baby! (and if you don’t know already, she’s even more bananas than I am)

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Monkey Baby: Arrivederci my sweeties.

See what I mean? Bit of a “you say goodbye, I say hello” moment if you ask me, moving onto the review… It took me a bit longer to get into this one, because it started in the middle of the action and then tracked back. It made the chronology a tad confusing and meant it took quite a bit of time to settle into it. But once it got going it was amazing again. It was so so action packed- even more than the first one.

Monkey Baby: I’m on a tightrope with this point. This monkey found it crazy disorientating.

There were a ridiculous number of twists and turns. I did feel like a fair number of the reveals and twists weren’t as good as the first book, simply because they’d already come up before, or were hinted at heavily, yet were treated like they were a big surprise. Also, although the number of twists did make it feel more action packed than Replica, the downside was that it also felt rather disjointed because of all the stuff that was going on.

Monkey Baby: It was bananas on a rollercoaster taking off in a rocket!!!

Nicely summarised! This was made especially jarring because there were two narratives going on independently. Whereas in the first book there was more of an overlap, here it felt like it easily could have been two books, as they didn’t join up nicely until the end.

Monkey Baby: One book? What monkey told you that? It was two you silly banana, obviously 😉

That said, allowing the narratives to be more individual did have the benefit of allowing the characters to grow into their own story arcs. Because of that, I loved the characters even more. Lyra was fantastic as ever and Gemma grew on me so much.

Monkey Baby: Lyra’s my baby and Gemma is the pretty kitty.

*Chokes on tea*- what she said. There were still layers to the story, as you’d expect from a story with dual perspectives 😉 I appreciated the modern day Frankenstein feel, although it was less pronounced in Ringer. There’s some really beautiful writing on top of that. Basically it’s a very clever series.

Monkey Baby: Layers and layers. Mmm I’m going to eat that cake forever. It was very delicious. Well maybe not forever. Forever is too long for a baby…

Forever is an awfully long time… And speaking of forever, this book was kind of ambiguous with its conclusion. As with the last book, I kind of think this is the end, but is it?


Okay, so Monkey Baby’s pretty passionate about this staying as a duology, so that settles it.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me and the Monkey Baby know in the comments!

Replica: Double Trouble!

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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!

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That’s right! My sister, the Monkey Baby, is back!

Meow 🙂

(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:

4½/5 bananas

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5 bananas from me meow :p

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So have you read this? Do you plan to? Let me and the Monkey Baby know in the comments!