Publisher: HMH Books
Author: Adrianne Finlay
Released: February 6th 2018
Received: Bookish First
I received a copy of Your One & Only from Bookish First in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Like many books I find myself reading lately, what first caught my attention about Your One & Only was the striking cover. It immediately grabbed my interest, as well as giving me a pretty good idea of what the book was about (which is a bonus, if you ask me). Plus it’s just so pretty, and who can say no to a pretty book cover? (I know I can’t).
What kept my attention however, was the plot. Hundreds of years after all the humans on earth have died off, all that’s left are colonies of clones; modified copies of their progenitors. And then there’s Jack. He technically is a clone too, but since his genes haven’t been modified, he’s more human than they are. What would a world look like, where there’s only one human in a sea of clones?
As far as post apocalypse stories go, Your One & Only is probably one of the brighter and shinier societies I’ve seen. Though that doesn’t exactly mean the society itself is well functioning, does it? When the humans died off so did many of their hobbies, traditions, and knowledge. The colonies left, all clones, got to pick and choose what they wanted to keep, and for the most part they chose to reject humanity.
It’s an interesting concept to mull over; a society of clones that not only altered their preferences, history, and purpose, but also their very DNA. One would be hard pressed to argue that this society is humans; but I would urge you not to call them clones either (apparently they don’t like that – go figure).
One of our main characters, Althea-310, is one of these clones (woops, I shouldn’t call them that, I know). She is one of ten Altheas for her generation, with ten generations in total. Each generation is made up of nine different clone types, with their own looks, personalities, and purposes. If that wasn’t sci-fi enough for you, how’s this; each set of clones can communicate telepathically.
That brings us to the other main character; Jack. He is one of one. There aren’t another nine of him to make a full set, and more importantly he was copied directly from human DNA, no editing or perfectly done to him. The question is, why? Why did they make Jack, when society appears so perfect? Why do they need him?
The unfolding mysteries and secrets of this colony were harrowing and fascinating. I had my own personal theories throughout, some of which were spot on…others less so. I love the thought provoking nature of the story, and it raises many subjects for debate. Ethically speaking, is cloning justified? What if it was to preserve human nature? Even if the clones turn their back on humans? And what of the clones created; what do we owe them? What responsibility to we have over them, and what treatment should they expect? And the clones made by clones? Are they open to the same level of treatment?
If you enjoy mulling over those sorts of questions, then you’ll probably enjoy reading Your One & Only. I’ll admit at times it was more toned down than I think it should have been (softening the impact, so to speak), but at the same time I’m almost relieved it didn’t go any heavier than it already had.
Your One & Only was Adrianne Finlay’s debut novel, so obviously I haven’t read anything else by her, but I have to say I’m impressed. I’ll likely be keeping an out for future books from her, as I think they’ll be just as interesting as this one.