The Pretenders by Rebecca Hanover

The Pretenders
by Rebecca Hanover
#2 in the Similars duology

In this conclusion to The Similars duology, Emma must figure out who she really is, decide between two boys with the same face, and stop a dangerous plan based on revenge.

Emma is still reeling from the events of her junior year at Darkwood. Not only is her best friend, Oliver, shockingly alive, but the boy she loves—his Similar, Levi—is still on the island where he grew up, stranded with his deranged creator.

More importantly, she is grappling with who she really is. Emma can’t accept the hard truths she learned last year and refuses to share her secrets with anyone, isolating herself from her friends and Ollie.

But when more of the Similars’ creator’s plot is revealed, Emma and her friends will have to try to stop him from putting a plan into motion that could destroy everyone she loves. 

Throughout The Similars Duology we follow Emmaline as she attends the prestigious Darkwood Academy, where 6 clones have been enrolled. This enrollment fules huge human right debates and the schools dark histoty begins to come to light.

The Science Fiction nature of the series lends itself well to the discussion of human rights and whether cones carry the same rights as the originals. Looking at the different sides is interesting however the story doen’t really allow the reader to make up their own mind as to whether cloning and clones are right. There would have been a richer depth to the stoy if this had been the case.

None the less, the story of Emmaline and the clones is one that as a reader I found interesting. Emma’s development as a character within the second book was critical to the story and to making her a protagonist that readers have some connection with. The personal growth was minimal but the science fictional changes were imense, giving her the edge she needed to become a more dynamic lead.

The scientific elements were probably my most favourite part of the story. It was interesting to learn how the cloning began and the extent to which it runs. It could definitely make for an interesting human right debate. The clones were represented well with thoughts and ideas that were their own and an experience that would make anyone hope for better for them.

The plot twists that are thrown into this story definitely fit the science fiction genre. They added a much needed layer

Overall the story examines relationships, choice and serious human right issues all within the compass of a Young Adult story. Its a great start to what will surely be a wider debate in the future.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 7.5/10
Character Development: 6/10
World Building: 5/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall: 3.5/5

Review: ‘The Similars’ By Rebecca Hanover

‘The Similars’

By Rebecca Hanover

#1 in the Similars series

Publisher:Source Books Fire
Date: 2018
Pages: 381
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Science Fiction
Days to Read: 6
Purchase Locations: Amazon Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks

When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.

This was such a good read. We follow Emmaline Chance, a junior in high school at the very exclusive Darkwood Academy. When we meet here she is on her journey to school. Driving in a driverless car with a bot she named Misery. I was intrigued with the concept of this elite school right off the bat. I’m not sure why but anything to do with boarding schools or elite schools set in America I just love.

Emmaline as a character is someone who has experienced a lot in her life and seems to continue to during her year at Darkwood. I did get someone Twilight vibes while I was reading. Emmaline I feel has a similar view on the world as Bella does, however I found the more extraordinary sircumstances in the book with the school environment, the technology and well the clones. I was able to see past that pessimistic view. I also found it more understandable based on all she has experienced.

I was really intrigued by the idea of clones and I was not disappointed. It felt like something our society would be dealing with in the future and it was written with tid bits on the progression of cloning and all the human right and moral implications that come along with the concept of clones.

There is an aspect of mystery to the whole thing with an attack and the guardian of the Similars.

The story ends on a cliffhanger and honestly I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 10/10
Character Development: 7.5/10
World Building: 7.5/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall Rating:  4/5