Jul 8, 2013

ARC Review--Replica by Jenna Black

Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake's marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in the corporate states. She lives a life of privilege even if she has to put up with paparazzi tracking her ever move. 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.

Nathaniel Hayes is the heir to the company that pioneered human replication: a technology that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Except he's more interested in sneaking around the seedy underbelly of the state formerly known as New York than he is in learning to run his future company or courting his bride-to-be. She's not exactly his type--not that he can tell anyone that.

But then Nate turns up dead. And 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--or rather, who--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 received this ARC while at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I was ecstatic when I landed an ARC of Jenna Black's newest YA series, starting off with Replica! I guess the easiest way to describe it is to call it Sci-Fi YA with a dystopian setting. Or Sci-Fi/Dystopian YA, if you will.

Set in the future, but reverting to styles and social tendencies of the nineteenth century--which makes you wonder why Natalie is wearing jeans on the cover--the setting makes for an intriguing life style. Nadia and Nate are betrothed to be married once Nadia is eighteen, so not for another two years. And while Nate is one of the most hottest and popular guys around, Nadia knows that the marriage will never amount to anything more than friendship. The cover description even alludes to this, but I guess I was still taken by surprise as to the why. It's even revealed in Chapter 1, but I won't say what it was.

When Nate is murdered at the end of Chapter 1, the story takes on the murder mystery quality. Nadia was the last one to see him alive, but she knows that's not exactly true. Nate's "friend on the side" was really the last one to see him alive and was also reported been seeing with blood on their--yes improper English, but for good reason--hands.

For lack of paranormal-ness, this was still a really good read! I love mysteries--with that added paranormal or weirdness element--and this one was deliciously good! I didn't really predict the murderer. Although, it's revealed not too long later, it was still shocking! And then we have to learn the why behind it, which made things even more complicated.

The whole replication process was where the sci-fi elements came in. And it was pretty weird, but then again, it was totally sci-fi. Guess I haven't been watching enough SyFy channel lately! (But with Roswell cancelled, what's the point?) But I do have to say that Jenna didn't make it overly complicated to understand and since this is YA, that was likely intentional.

While there wasn't a strong romantic element going on, I do see definitely potential for both Nadia and obviously, Nate with their respective others. With Nadia though, it's a little unclear. The character was there for some time, but his role was a little dicey. We didn't know exactly who he was, but Nadia suspected he was a spy for the lead investigator in Nate's murder. There was a definite tension between those two, like the foundation of more to come was being set. Only time will tell.

The ending. Wow. I was starting to wonder if this was going to be a standalone or a series. I suppose it can technically go both ways, for at the moment I have not heard how long this series--if it's going to be one--is going to be. The ending leaves you thinking that all is said and done and the hopes for a bright future to come...but then comes the epilogue. Oh I how I love/hate the epilogue! It truly becomes a book-by-book basis as to the love or hate and this one is definitely a combination. I was getting a little unsettled with the ending prior to. I was hoping for something more to come by with this ending and the epilogue definitely provided that! I truly didn't even think all that happened possible, but in truth I should've known! Obviously, I won't go into details, all I can say is Kudos, Jenna! Looking forward to the sequel!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Replica releases July 16, 2013


  1. I'm so jealous that you got to read this early! I'm heading over to Amazon to pre-order this before I forget. Great review, Jessica!

  2. Oooo, I was liking the sounds of it, and I really like the sounds of it now. :) Thank you!

  3. The book sounds so good. Dystopian + sci-fi = match made in heaven. Adding it to my TBR list!


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