Wow. Just…. Wow. what an insane book! Holy bananas!! Okay, I don’t even know where to begin because so much happens and I don’t want to give anything away… “The Clone” by author Johan Thompson is far and away one of the most original and just flat-out interesting and crazy and surreal thriller/suspense/sci-fi fiction novels I’ve ever read (and I read a lot!). I liked it for so many different reasons: first the writing was really solid and had great, rapid-fire pace (and perfect editing!!). The fluid narrative, short chapters, and engaging dialogue makes it a very easy book to sink into, and the characters all feel very unique and individual based on their conversations and action, not on some narrative ‘description’ of them (a pet peeve of mine). . There are enough descriptions where you can picture everything perfectly, but not so much that it bogs down the pacing. The characters are so incredibly interesting and bizarre and yet believable (for the most part – a few over the top aspects but still we can buy into them for entertainment’s sake) and I like how they all had their own unique stories and backgrounds that lead them to what/who they are. I admit that I was completely shocked by some of the major reveals, like Sebastian’s identity and also Tiffany’s. Olivia makes for a very solid heroine and Egor and the brothers (Armand and Ivan) are the perfect villains. There were so many different plotlines and even though at first you don’t see how or if it’s connected, it was fascinating to see how it all came together in the end which was awesome. It does warp up well (with a cryptic ending), but also leaves the door open for more, which I for one hope there will be! Lots of violence and some language/ adult situations so best suited for mature readers only. Very highly recommend!!
Gilian H
I was hooked from the first pages of the intriguing prologue of “The Clone” and much to my surprise my interest never faded for a moment! (that’s rare for me with books these days…) I loved the creative and strong characters and plots that continued to build with tension and shock and surprise. Just when you think you know what’s happening, something comes along to throw a wrench in it. This is good because I hate books that are super predictable. And this one isn’t…. faaaar from it. Literally there are more twists and turns and reveals and unexpected surprises in this book than any I can recall in recent memory. I’m always impressed with that happens because I’m a pretty astute reader and can usually see the twist a mile off. Not here. At first, I was thrown when reading and we reach the end of part 1 and then part 2 almost seems like a totally different story, but we see how it all comes together and it is amazing. The characters are the coolest/weirdest I’ve met in a long time, and although there are some familiar themes and tropes at play here (scientific ‘experiments’ with unexpected results; Russian thugs/gangsters), the author Johan Thompson brings a fresh attitude and literary style and makes it all his own and doesn’t just rehash the same old plotlines we’ve seen a million times before which makes this book wholly unique. I’ve read a ton of thrillers & suspense over the years so I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore but I can say that this author definitely managed to do it. I appreciated the brisk pace and the descriptive details that really brought the story to life – authentic world building (the character development in this case) is absolutely crucial in selling a story that has this somewhat ‘fantastical’ element and it is done quite impressively here… A shocking, sometimes uncomfortable experience that will get inside your mind and soul. Great characters, from Olivia to Jonas, Egor and the sons, Sebastian and Tiffany and Candice… all very well- conceived (pardon the pun). Recommend for anyone (adults) who enjoy a well-written, suspense-filled sci-fi thriller with darker psychological twists and lots of action. (4.5 stars) Darla Ortiz
Darla Ortiz
"The Clone” by Johan Thompson is by far one of the more different, disturbing, and downright scandalously addicting books I’ve read in long time! I was completely drawn in from the get-go in the different characters’ worlds and watched as they slowly became entwined and deeper in the dark drama as more elements and character motivations were revealed – some which are seriously jaw-dropping. Obviously we know that Egor isn’t ‘good’ (what gangster really is?) and that manipulation human nature with ‘cloning’ can bring about some disastrous results. But I thought it was cool how even though the cloning is an integral part of the story, it didn’t overshadow the whole plot, which is very character-driven by some extremely disturbed and flawed people (lots of violence and killings, even some torture). But it isn’t gratuitous, just paints the gritty, tension-filled scene in a very realistic and frightening way. Enjoyed Thompson’s literary ‘voice’ and thought the character and plot development to be extremely well done (even with the different time periods)… This level of complexity with the various interweaving subplots and cast of characters could have ended up badly but instead I darn near gobbled the whole thing down in two nights! The writing is genuine and authentic, as is the dialogue in a way that truly brings this memorable story to life. At times it does almost boarder on being almost too weird and unbelievable (The brothers are almost caricatures, and the clone’s ‘secret’ is an eyebrow raiser), but overall a fast, darkly entertaining read, with an ending that leaves you wanting more. Will there be? Seems like a possibility. A fun, twisted ride with more shady characters that you can love or love to hate. Recommend for adults only because of violence, language.
Steph Coleman
"The Clone” really struck me as unique due to the depth and complexity of the characters and the fact that even for a science-fiction/thriller the rules seemed to go out the window a few times and really threw me for a loop (no spoilers). The writing is very strong (so surprised to read this is the author’s first novel!) and the plot is compelling and intelligent enough to really keep our interest – which is honestly saying a lot considering I got bored reading most books these days. This one just flows so much smoother and faster and keeps picking up steam as it goes along. This is a rare novel that I thought had almost everything, from romantic/marital issues (w Johan & Olivia), to scientific/supernatural elements, danger, intellect, life and death struggles, shocking twists, emotional moments… it’s hard not to find something you like. There are dark secrets revealed throughout, and nothing is predictable or what you think will happen. Kept me turning the pages late into the night! One thing I’ll say is that I was impressed with how well the author Johan Thompson told this story using a variety of different perspectives – really allows us to get in the different characters’ ‘heads’ in a way and see the bigger picture. Some parts we feel like a bystander, other times like a willing participant. Thought Olivia’s journal entries were a good touch as well. Execution and presentation wise, the editing and the formatting were flawless. Very rare, especially in e-books. Some cringeworthy scenes that may not be suitable for younger readers (violence) but nothing too horrific. How it ends it almost makes me think that there will be a sequel but there is no mention of it. I hope there is one! Recommend for fans of scifi thriller and fantasy. (ages 18+).