Friday, May 2, 2008
Camille DeAngelis is an ambitious woman to tackle cloning in a realistic fiction setting. I found Mary Modern fascinating and strange (though, as far as cloning fiction goes, I preferred Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go). The characters in DeAngelis' book were a little too unsympathetic for me -- I didn't really feel sorry for any of them except Mary, and I thought Gray was way too much of a doormat. The political aspect seemed not quite developed enough; there were random snippets from a book that strongly criticized various aspects of the 2000s, and while I don't disagree, it seemed odd to have that disconnected soapbox in there. The story itself, however, and the writing, were entirely compelling and readable; the book is well-paced and the plot suspenseful in the right places. I'm glad the author is putting these ethical and political issues out there for readers to ponder and analyze, but I wish she had given them more context in the fiction.