The Clone Alliance (Ace Science Fiction) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Oct 2007
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About the Author
Born in California but raised in Hawaii, novelist/video game fanatic Steven L. Kent turned a life-long joystick addiction into a 15-year gig writing for publications like MSNBC, "Boy's Life, USA Today, Chicago Tribune," and "Japan Times." After publishing the 600-page "The Ultimate History of Video Games," Kent satisfied his Pac-Man-angst and set his sights on fiction. Having just submitted "The Clone Elite," the fourth book in his "Wayson Harris Trilogy," Kent is currently writing a standalone sci-fi novel while he develops a new series based on the Unified Authority.
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1) The Clone Republic
2) Rogue Clone
3) The Clone Alliance.
4) The Clone Elite
5) The Clone Betrayal
6) The Clone Empire
7) The Clone Redemption (Due for publication Oct 2011)
If you have not yet read any of the books in this series, I recommend that you imediately follow the link above to "The Clone Republic" without reading further on this page, because it is almost impossible to write about the later books without spoiling the first one
That first book was a story of an individual in an army of clones, trying to work out who and what he was, and why he had both friends and enemies in high places.
In the second book he found himself cast out of his place in that army, but that senators and admirals - including some of those who were trying to kill him in the first book - still had jobs for him to do as a mercenary, spy, and bounty hunter.Read more ›
Secondly the author goes on to describe how he wrote the draft and it was totally changed by the publisher.
I really enjoyed the first book of the series, because it was new, a new writing style and it flowed.
When I reviewed the second book, it was that it no longer flowed it jumped back and forth trying to explain the story so far...reading the author's note we find that he changed the story because of suggestions made by a qualified friend... we later find out in the third book that it is the publisher who keeps changing the writing style to fit their belief in how the book should be presented.
I enjoyed the start of this third book, in that the story so far was put in the beginning, instead of jumping back and forth between past and present, however, the book does not read well, the style is not my cup of tea, and some of the main characters such as Ray Freeman the bounty hunter are totally out of character...it would be nice if the author could write a book in his own style without the publisher changing the whole story.
What many people may see as a disjointed experience, and by the authors own admission a rushed development, these books read very well imho. I actually think that the random misdirections, changing pace and loss leader story lines make this book more "realistic" (if that can ever be true in a sci-fi genre).
A real page turner that made me regret that my 14 hour flight touched down at my final destination before completing the novel.
You never know who to root for, who is a bad guy, who is a good guy (no spoilers here). Kent introduced three "hard as nails" main characters in one book, the clone, the 41 year old PFC, and the mercenary from hell.
Write more Mr. Kent please.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Colonel Wayson Harris and his partner Ray Freeman return to Earth as representative from Hinode Fleet to pledge allegiance to the U.A.
Harris (demoted from spite) is one of the kind Liberator clones that have been outlawed because of their aggressive behaviors and bloodlust, found himself enlisted to the U.A Marine as a Master Sergeant that entrusted with a secret mission to infiltrate Morgan Atkins stronghold. Once again Harris and his kind were used as a pawn, dispensable soldiers, of highly political game by high-ranking U.A officers.
Personally, I thought the third book did better than the second one. Harris is becoming more mature, finally holding his personal grudge against the U.A when he and his platoon were betrayed by Admiral Brocious, left to die in the hearth of Mogat territory along with 200 million Mogat followers.
Wayson Harris is a likeable character. The dialogues are well-crafted and flow naturally. The story narrated from his point of view, simple and yet, highly addictive.I usually don't like novel written in first person point of view, but with this one, I found myself immerse deeply into the character.
On the down side, I wonder why Harris is distracted from his personal mission to avenge the death of Admiral Klyber and instead, working with Adam Boyd clones that once were sent to eliminate him? Still, I'm curious to see what Steven L Kent has on his sleeve for the fourth installment of the series. I definitely will buy the next book, which I hope, coming out soon...
Harris can't help but aid the UA against the Mogats. He's a clone and programmed to survive and to follow UA orders. Once again, he's a pawn--whether leading the way and showing initiative, or not. It's frustrating for him, but at least he gets a (programmed) rush from all the action. As a reader, it's a similar situation: there's action and adventure to satisfy and we don't worry too much about Harris ignoring his own agenda of revenge against those who have killed his men and his sponsors and his friends and have tried to kill him.
In some ways, this was the most exciting book yet, with a number of different missions and the fate of a world and the war with the Mogats in the balance. Harris is doing what he's been created for, and he's good at it. And the ending makes sense, given all that's come before in this series.
Harris's world has changed, making things harder and harder for even a simple military clone (something Harris is not). Things look like they will continue to change--and in rather negative ways. Although there are no huge bells and whistles in this fairly standard far-future world, I remain curious about Harris's fate and will continue to look for any future installments in this series.
He has maintained the interest and story line through 3 books now and there is a least a fourth in the future from the ending. There are just too many loose edges left for there not to be another in this series.
It will be interesting to see if the author delves into the legal and societal status of clones in future books. Perhaps he will stay with the personal journey of the laster Liberator clone. I am looking forward to the next book.
1) The Clone Republic
2) Rogue Clone
3) The Clone Alliance.
4) The Clone Elite
The first book was a story of an individual in an army of clones, trying to work out who and what he was, and why he had both friends and enemies in high places.
In the second book he found himself cast out of his place in that army, but that senators and admirals - including some of those who were trying to kill him in the first book - still had jobs for him to do as a mercenary, spy, and bounty hunter.
At the start of this third book, as the galaxy has collapsed in civil war, Harris is stranded with his partner, super-mercenary Ray Freeman, on a frontier planet. Then they are contacted by one of the factions which initially rebelled against the galactic senate but now wish to rejoin it, and Harris is asked to carry their offer of allegiance. Soon he is back in unform - and comes up against an even more extraordinary enemy than he has met before.
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 "Unified Authority," originally the central government of the galaxy until several spiral arms declared independence in the second book, uses armies of clones to keep everyone in line. All the clones who provide the grunts for the marines and the other armed services 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.
Harris really is different from all the regular marine clones, for example 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.
One of the hardest things to write well is one or more sequels to a book in which the central character spent most of his time trying to uncover a secret and ultimately did so. Much of the plot of the first book in this series, "The Clone Republic" revolved around Wayson Harris's origins, e.g. whether he was a clone, what plans certain admirals had for him, why other admirals were trying to kill him. By the end of that book Harris had found out what he is. So in the second and third books, author Steven Kent had to find new mysteries and challenges for him. Consequently the styles of these three books are significantly different: in my opinion they all work well, but not everyone who likes one of them can be guaranteed to enjoy the others.
As mentioned, they are best read in publication order, so start with "The Clone Republic" then follow up with "Rogue Clone" and finally this book, "The Clone Alliance." The second and third books give away the mysteries that Harris is trying to understand during the first book, and this third book would be harder for someone who has not read the first two to follow.
I found all the first three books in the series to be good gripping entertainment, and I think most readers who enjoy military SF will like them. (At the time of writing I am just starting to read "The Clone Elite.")
The mission, which seems so doomed, succeeds despite itself, and soon Harris (onstage) and Freeman (offstage for awhile) are off on a quest to figure out how to stop the Mogats from overrunning Earth itself. To do this, Harris, now back in the Marines' good graces, attempts locate the world on which 200 million Mogats are deployed. When Harris figures out how that could be done, the fun starts.
There's plenty of action, believable characters, and no wasted words as Harris manages to keep his head, and his life, despite the ever-changing alliances, and Freeman just wants to get paid. Enough issues that were raised in the first two books are resolved here to satisfy readers, and there are enough loose ends that will make them want to grab the fourth, "The Clone Elite."
Notes and asides: This book has a copyright date of 2007, and in an afterword the author tells us he submitted the finished ms. to the publisher in September 2006. It is therefore of note that there is a ship named the "Obama" herein, and reference is made to "Rumsfeld" tanks which, as Harris slyly tells us in the first-person narration, were obsolete before they were ever rolled out.
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