This week’s book references several delectable bits of culture from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to The Pirates of Penzance. And, of course, Shakespeare.
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If you’re a bit of an English Lit nerd who’s a sucker for Shakespeare quotes, you’ll enjoy this book. Set in the far future, this week’s novel features a diverse cast of spy performers. Oh, and did I mention the main character’s a clone?
A Jack By Any Other Name, by Lesley L. Smith, is a delightful romp through the galaxy. But it’s also a thrilling whodunit. Jack Jones is a clone tasked with solving his own murder. Talk about meta, right? Unfortunately, he’s also a months-old rush cloning job in an 18-year-old body. Having lost 30 years of the original Jack Jones’ memories, he is ill prepared to take on his new task. On top of that, he has all the maturity of a newborn, having been thrust into a body full of raging hormones with little time to adjust. And that makes for a rather unlikeable character at first, but it is a pleasure to watch him evolve over the course of the story.
This book also has a lot of sexual references (hormones, remember?) but without graphic or explicit depictions of intimate encounters. This may be a pro or a con for you depending on how steamy you like your reads.
As in other Lesley L. Smith books I’ve read, there is an unforeseen plot twist. But this particular twist opens up some important questions for the main character and propels him forward in his journey of maturity and self-discovery.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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P.S.: If you’re a huge science fiction fan, you should read this review, too.