Falls the Shadow
by Stefanie Gaither
Publishing date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
I'm not sure what exactly drew me to Falls the Shadow, but I think it would have to be the combination of the creepy cover, cloning and science-fiction. When you look at the cover, you get the feeling that this is a book with a lot of character (one face is even screaming!) but I didn't really feel what I thought I would as strongly. At some points, this book felt really blah, and there were points where I actually wondered if I should even finish the book. Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't as horrible as I make it sound, but while reading I wasn't exactly excited to be reading it, and the pacing really got the most of the rating.
Falls the Shadow had a really intriguing storyline. It has this science-fiction/thriller kind of feel and it's about cloning. There is this new technology which enables parents to decide if they want to clone their kids at birth and in case something happens to their 'real' kids, they'll have an exact replacement. To some this sounds horrifying and unhuman, but some people are deciding to do it. Cate's parents are one of those who cloned their children. From the moment Cate and her twin sister Violet were born, they had a clone who was exactly like them, doing the exact same movements in the exact same moment. When Cate's sister dies, a couple hours later, her sister's clone joins them with all the memories, looking just like 'real' Violet. Like all the clones, Violet is stronger and faster then normal people which is terrifying to some. But the 'new' Violet is acting weird, always causing trouble and when she is accused of murder, Cate is confused and she decides to put an end to it and figure out what is really happening there.
I just can't get over the fact that this book had SO MUCH potential to be amazing, but somehow it failed to amaze me. I love science-fiction as a genre, and I pretty much like everything in it, but somehow, that wasn't the case with Falls the Shadow. I just don't have much to say about it. The relationship between Cate and her twin sister was left unexplored. We see the traces of the relationship that they have, but I didn't feel any depth, any real genuine connection between them. It's the same with the romantic interest Jaxon. I wouldn't call their romance exactly insta - but it was really close to it. I didn't feel the connection between them, it didn't feel real, and suddenly they both care so much about each other. I just didn't buy it.
I wasn't really fond of the ending either. It felt rushed and I believe that we could have gone without some things, while adding some more action. So, the question is, did I like this book enough to recommend it? Probably not. Even with a great premise, I just couldn't shake the meh feeling, but you may enjoy it more then I did.