Customer Review

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel to "The Clone Republic", 15 Oct 2006
This review is from: Rogue Clone (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is the second part of the series telling the story of Wayson Harris, which began in "The Clone Republic" and continues with "The Clone Alliance."

One of the hardest things to write well is a sequel to a book in which the central character spent most of his time trying to uncover a secret and ultimately did so. In the first book in this series, "The Clone Republic" Lieutenant Wayson Harris spent much of the story wondering whether he was a clone and why he has both enemies and friends in high places. By the end of that book Harris has found out what he is. So in this second book, author Steven Kent had to find completely new mysteries for him. This could easily have been a very limp sequel, but it isn't: I enjoyed "Rogue Clone" more than the first book.

If you are interested in this series but have not yet read the first book, I would advise you to stop reading this page now and follow the link to The Clone Republic because it is difficult to describe the second and subsequent books without giving away too much about the first one.

The story is set in a Universe which contains just about every "Star Wars" cliche imaginable, but Kent manages to find new things to say about most of them. The central government of the galaxy, which is descended from a elected form of government but is no longer democratic in any meaningful way, uses armies of clones to keep everyone in line. All the clones who provide the grunts for the marines are raised in orphanages: each is told that he is the only natural born real orphan in the institution, and programmed to see himself with different hair and eye colour. Each standard military clone is also programmed to die if he finds out that he is really a clone.

The government has also developed more than one genotype of clone for particular military jobs. On Harris's first few postings every other non-commissioned marine he met had been cloned from one particular genetic pattern, but then he began to meet clone solders of other genotypes: for example, a completely different genetic template had been used to clone all the Special Forces personnel.

Harris really is different from all the other marines, for example we learn in "Rogue Clone" that he is four inches taller. But to the generals and admirals, both he and the standard clones are just as much expendable assets as the ammmunition for the fleet's guns.

At the end of "The Clone Republic" Harris was forced to go AWOL, but this second book's title "Rogue Clone" should not necessarily be assumed to refer to him. As the galaxy descends into civil war and chaos after several spiral arms try to declare independence, Harris is still working for the government as a mercenary and bounty hunter. Then suddenly he finds himself back in uniform and on a dangerous mission for the admiral who tried several times to kill him in the first book.

A peaceful agricultural colony is threatened by a fighter carrier commanded by a clone who really has gone rogue - can Harris stop the carrier with an unarmed transport ship and his old mercenary partner ?

Good gripping entertainment. I have so far read the first three books in the series and can recommend all of them: I am planning to read the rest.

These are best read in publication order:

1) The Clone Republic
2) Rogue Clone
3) The Clone Alliance (Ace Science Fiction)
4) The Clone Elite
5) The Clone Betrayal
6) The Clone Empire
7) The Clone Redemption (Due for publication Oct 2011)

Postscript Jan 2009/March 2011

I have come back to update these reviews a few times giving details of the extra books in the series (removing references to a trilogy, etc), I looked over the other reviews and the feedback they received. It seems to be something of a "marmite" set of novels; apparently the majority of readers, like me, enjoyed the series, but there are clearly one or two outspoken readers who didn't.

The style of the series varies a bit from novel to novel but all of them have a lot of "how does he get out of this one" action and although a lot of the ideas in this series can be found in other military SF books, Kent usually manages to do something different with them. Most people who enjoy military SF should give "The Clone Republic" a try, and if you like it, continue with the series.
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