Title: Falls the ShadowAuthor: Stefanie GaitherPublication Date: September 16th 2014Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young
When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.
She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.
At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.
In a thrilling debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?
Ugh, you have no idea how much I loved Falls the Shadow, it's a little embarrassing. Halfway through I was thinking a solid four, and then it just upped and upped and away it went, pretty much perfect. It reminded me a lot of Jennifer Rush's Altered series, but longer, It's not exactly the same as it, but the character vibes I got from Altered I got from Falls the Shadow. That chemistry between them, when characters just click. They bounced off one another and it's just makes the whole book just flow a lot better because of it.
Falls the Shadow pretty much had me from the get go with the opening sentence, I don't usually use quotes in reviews unless they're utterly ridiculous so I use them to rant with, but I just had to with this.
"I took some of the flowers from my sister's funeral, because I thought her replacement might like them as a welcome-to-the-family present."
Technically, that sentence is from the prologue, which is four years before the real story begins. But, I mean, come on. That sentence is so fucked up but it's normal in this world. A world where replacing someone who has died, but never really die because of the cloned DNA and a chip that connects your brain into your clones brain which logs in all of your memories and imitations and everything obvious that makes you, you, so you can live on, is normal. I'm not going to go into it all the way because 1) spoilers and 2) stuff like this makes me brain hurt, so I'll give you the basics.
When our main character Cate, and her older sister were born, their parents had them cloned so that if anything ever happened to one of them, they could just have them replaced so they wouldn't have to deal with the fact that someone they loved is dead. It takes away your process to grieve, and while their parents were perfectly happy with that, Cate isn't. Basically, we have a company that clones people. Then we have a rebel company that thinks that clones are an abomination. They're always up against one another until one of them makes a move and all hell breaks loose. For once with a plot I never tried to guess what was going to happen, I was just happy enough to go along with it and see what happens, and I loved that it let me do that.
"Because after all, people were easy enough to fool, if you knew how to do it."
While Falls the Shadow delves into the genetic side and enhancement side of science, it also shows that you can clone who that person is physically, and mentally. They can dictate how you move, what makes you tick, how you think. your clone, for all tense and purposes, is you. Except, it's not. It delves into the human side of you that science can't replicate, your personality, your morality, your growth.
You already know I loved the characters, and there is romance , that I thought in the beginning was going to be insta-love, which does kind of start out as insta-love turns into something much more with the depth you needed that's learnt along the way. The relationship that's more face and centre is between the sisters. It's a complicated one, and Cate's always conflicted between the real Violet and the clone Violet, but when it comes down to it, she's always stuck by Violet.
I love anything that makes you think about morality, and Falls the Shadow doesn't disappoint, it isn't overly in your face about it, it has undertones of it, but also different kinds of morality. Human morality, and when it comes to ethics in genetic modification.