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Replica by Jenna Black

replicaBreathtaking new YA SF from the author of the Faeriewalker series

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.

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Personal Thoughts:

I love reading Dystopian novels in YA but Science Fiction not so much, so when Jenna Black combined the two in Replica I got this mix expectation from the book. But after reading I found out that Replica actually offers just a little science fiction and more heavy on political and corporate issues which really works well for me.

The United States is now the Corporate Sates where corporations have taken over the government. New York is controlled by Paxco Corporation and the Empire State Building is now the Paxco Headquarters. Nathan Hayes, Chairman Heir to Paxo Corporation is engage to be married to Nadia Lake. It is an arranged marriage set-up by their families mostly for business benefits. Nathan and Nadia agree with the marriage but they set an arrangement of their own. They were both happy and contended with it until Nate get murdered. Few hours before the murder Nate was last saw with Nadia sneaking out of the party which makes Nadia as the suspect. But then Nadia knows that she didn’t left Nate alone, there’s another person that might be the real suspect and even Nate himself (or at least his Replica) want to find it out.

The characters’ development is done very well. Nate and Nadia aren’t really that likable at the start of the novel but they both grew in me. At first Nate appear selfish and reckless. He’d done things without considering Nadia’s position and her feelings. Sometimes it’s all about him and his entertainment. After his murdered and he got replicated I expect him to be more considerable to be more cautious but still he do things because he want to. I understand that he want to know who killed him, that he wants to see and talk to the person he loves, but he also knows that Nadia is in trouble after the murder. And sometimes his risky stunts also put Nadia at risk. It took a while, but when Nate finally realized that even he is one of the most powerful person, the world isn’t really all about him, that’s when his character started to shine. He is a loyal friend and a loving guy.

As for Nadia, she started as weak but grew incredibly well through out the story. Her love for her family is unmeasureable. After Nate’s murder she’s went through a lot of trouble but she never give up. She faced every person who wants nothing but to torture her. In the end she become stronger and braver.

The best part of Replica is the dystopian society that Jenna Black created. It is highly unique and interesting. The idea of corporations controlling the United States government is fascinating with its clear possibilities. The world building is well done and smoothly integrated to the story. All the corporations, social classes, political structures and even the science fiction element fall right in to their places, creating a unique but still possibly realistic world of the future. Though there isn’t enough history to expain how the current world happened, Jenna Black still managed to paint a clear picture of the dystopian world where her characters lives.

With mystery, intrigue and unique premise Replica is a fast-paced and interesting read. Jenna Black successfully bring something new by adding unexpected elements and focusing on friendship instead of romance.

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