Your One and Only by Adrianne Finlay
Publication Date: February 6, 2018 (US)
Summary from NetGalley:
Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?
While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
The premise of this story is what made me interested in reading it. Clones creating a human was just too interesting to pass up. This book does make for an interesting read, but it was a little slow and I had a hard time relating to the characters.
The clones were very interesting. There are ten clones originally made from nine different humans. They are all named for their human originator, but have numbers after their names. They create new clones every ten years, and retire the oldest of the clones at that time, so that there are never more than 90 clones. They also have the ability to commune with each other, they can feel each others emotions and physical pain. They also at times can hear and see each others thoughts. This all makes for a very closed culture which on the surface appears to be perfect. But with all utopias once you start to scratch that surface you find many flaws.
Althea-310 is an interesting character. Even from the start of the book we know that she is slightly different from her sisters. But as the book progresses so do her differences. She has thoughts and feelings unlike her sisters, not only about Jack but also about the other male clones. She also starts to questions some of the actions of the elders and starts to wonder about why things are the way they are. I think I struggled to relate to her because she is a bit of a blank slate emotionally, at least to start with. As her character starts to pull away from her sisters and the other clones, I started to get her a bit more, but still not enough.
I liked Jack, but still struggled with relating to him. He was just so angry all of the time, and I totally got why he was, but that made it hard for me to like him. He was not treated at all well by most of the clones, who saw him as only slightly better than an animal. But I could feel for him in his wanting to belong. I was not totally sold on the romance aspect of the story between these two either.
The world building was nicely done. I had a lot of questions about how the clones came to be and why they created Jack. These are eventually answered, but I would have liked it a bit earlier. The pacing was also a bit slow, but the plot was well thought out and interesting. There is no indication that this will be a series, but the ending was left open enough that it could be.
Overall I really liked this story, but I did not love it. I found it an interesting look into a possible future and it did make me think about some of the moral issues with clones. IF you are looking for an interesting twist on clones this would be a good book to pick up.