Monday, October 28, 2013

Cain's Blood

I found this book listed on a "new arrival" list at my local library and was instantly intrigued. It is an ingenious blend of science and horror that will put you into a state of paranoia about our government's weapons funding. The story places young boys in adoptive homes across the country, but keeps their true identities a secret, even from the boys themselves. Only after one of the lead scientists goes on a killing spree with a group of these boys, it is revealed that they are clones of some of the world's notorious serial killers. A faithful soldier Castillo is brought in to hunt down the escaped clones and to keep it quite, but finds himself relying on an unlikely individual, a clone of Jeffery Dahmer. This young man proves to be quite helpful to Castillo, but will it be enough to stop the mayhem before the nation is exposed to something even far worse than a few serial killer clones?

What I loved most about this novel was, well, just about everything! It was a fast past thrill ride in which you were constantly wondering what was going to happen next. Geoffrey Girard also did an amazing job at setting up the scientific background in a way that people not familiar with cloning would at least understand some of the key concepts behind it. He also included some background information on Dolly the sheep that I found interesting and helped to explain some of the issues that there were with the clones. The storyline flowed very smoothly from one page to the next and I found myself not wanting to put this book down. Every time I had to walk away from it, my mind was constantly going back to it and wondering what monstrous things awaited for me ahead.

I also thought that the character development was well done. The serial killers were extremely frightening. Whenever there was a passage with them and their thoughts were shown, it made me very uncomfortable. I had to sometimes use my imagination to fill in what each of them looked like, but by them being rather famous, a quick search on the internet helped to flesh them out visually for me. However, there was no doubt that these individuals were killers in any way. The main two characters seemed to compliment one another. Castillo seemed to be missing something from his life and perhaps this teenage boy, a Jeffrey Dahmer clone, helped him to center and leave some of his scars, physically and mentally, behind.

There weren't too many things that I had issues with. This particular book had a vast vocabulary and was intelligently written, which is something I gravitate toward. If I had to be nit picky, I would have to say the whole cloning process was not described well. Although, I don't believe that you needed a vast description of it for the story to work. It would have just been nice to get a better description of what the clones grew in exactly what the scientists did to create these specific clones, etc. Sometimes, the dialogue also seemed a little awkward, but not exactly a big deal, especially for this novel. The only other thing that kind of got in the way was all the references to The Odyssey. It seemed a little heavy handed sometimes with all the quotations, but I understand the importance of it for characterization reasons.

Overall, this book was excellent. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good horror novel with a backstory relating to government conspiracies. If you are uncomfortable by intense murder sequences, do not enjoy books on cloning, or prefer thrillers that are lighter in content, then this book is not recommended for you.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not paid to do a review of this book.

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