The Clone Betrayal Mass Market Paperback – 27 Oct 2009
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|Mass Market Paperback, 27 Oct 2009||
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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."
Top Customer Reviews
I am not going to spoil anyone's reading but this is the weakest book in the series with a weak plot and not an awful lot of action. It looks like it has been written to provide an opening for a sixth book. Little character development either.
The previous 4 books are worth a read and I hope the sixth book is better than this one.
My only complaint is that it was too short, I crave for more.
This is a great series of books with rip roaring heroism and a detailed believable character as the main protagonist.
The Gist of the story is that the aliens that the mogats worshipped arrive and start killing everyone unable to distuinguish between mogats and normal humans. The War might be going badly - nobody is sure as people die too quickly to give a report but hey they are only clones right?
Eventually even the clone supply runs out and our hero is part of the last stand.
I will go no further except to say that the ending is really dissapointing - how do you kill invunerable aliens? you just need a big enough bomb....
He ran out of ideas. He needs a break. Take a holiday and get your ideas together.
Very well written and interesting plot, must have for sci-fi book fan.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Congress decides that clones are no longer useful, with only two planets to defend, they aren't even necessary as a galactic standing military. Time to sweep their dirty laundry under the rug. They start by rounding up all the clones on Earth and putting them in a concentration camp in Texas, dubbed Clonetown. Harris, who is the only clone alive who knows he's a clone, and doesn't have to fear the "death reflex" that finding out about his origin would cause, has always been bitter the way the system chewed up clones, using them as tools, not people. The UA's intention to lay all the blame on the clone's feet, when it was the clone's that had saved their collective rear in the last two world ending crisis, is too much for Harris to stand. He wants to act, and when General Smith comes to him with a new assignment, this could be chance he's always wanted, or is the UA just giving him enough rope to hang himself?
Harris is sent to the Scutum-Crux arm of the galaxy, as far out as you can go, to take command of the fleet station around Terreneau. His first order of business is to liberate Terreneau from the alien technology cutting it off from the rest of the galaxy. But Harris has some baggage, in the form of the only female clone in the galaxy. He can either hide her, effectively protecting her, or let her loose in a world of thousands of clones, most of which haven't seen a woman in four years. He also has to deal with the time old naval and marine feud, that threatens to stall any plans before he can even get the clone liberation moving. That added to the fact that every man Harris deals with, believes he is the one and only natural born soldier among the enlisted ranks. A genetic deception that has kept the clones compliant for two centuries. Harris can't even ask the clones to stand up for themselves, for their own kind, because none of them believe they are clones.
When the fighting starts, he buts heads with naval officers, he finds himself outclassed strategically, and makes some big mistakes along the way. Harris has been tipped off, the UA is coming for the clones and their new fleet, to use as training practice for their new, all natural born, military. The clones are convinced that they need to fight for their lives, but they aren't bred for leadership, they aren't designed to seek out command, and the deck is stacked against them.
As a female reader of science fiction, I appreciate Steven Kent's writing style. He doesn't go on for pages about the technology, weapons, and systems that make many scifi military novels feel more like tech manuals than fiction. Kent also corrected what I've felt like is a weakness in his novels, and the genre on a whole, and put a woman in his book, in a strong role. She isn't over-tough, or super feminine and helpless, but is the right balance of lovely, pragmatic, and courageous.
We see Harris grow as a character as well. He's all marine, but he shows insecurities, and fears. Harris screws up on large and small scales. He isn't thrown in this book as the last, unlikely, crazy plan that can save everything, but will probably kill him in the process. This time he's the one calling the shots, and he finds himself in over his head. One of Harris' strengths as a character is his self-awareness as an individual, but as a leader of more than a platoon of men, he flounders. He learns from his mistakes, but is it too little too late?
The Clone Betrayal is a great read. It's fast paced, feels genuine, and hits on subjects that other authors in military scifi never dare touch on. I mean, what will hundreds of thousands of men, in close quarters do when they can't leave their ship and no women are around? Kent hits on drug issues in soldiers, and PTSD. The book is action packed, but it also takes the reader deep into the psyche, and the resourcefulness of men at arms. I couldn't put it down.
I assume that the next book in the series will come out around this time next year.... It'll be a long wait. I'm wondering where the rest of the Scutum-Crux fleet go? As far as I could tell, they hadn't gotten self-broadcasting engines installed on the ships yet. I could be wrong though. Yes, I was happy to see the term 'Scrotum-Crotch' in there. I got 1/2 way through the book before seeing the term in there... gives me a chuckle just thinking about the name. I won't tell the end, but it left me wondering what will happen next for Wayson and the clones. There are many questions as to how the next book ends up, and judging from those unanswered questions, the next book in the series is going to be incredible.
If I can offer any advice to Mr. Kent it would be this: "Keep on keepin' on. You're good at what you do and just need to continue as you have been."
Thanks for letting us visit Clonetown once again.
The initial premise of this series, of a strangely unique soldier in a clone interstellar army, caught my attention. Steven Kent has done a great job of portraying the usual military vs politicians and civilians friction in these books, with the added dimension of creating conflict between his hero, Wayson Harris, and the rest of the clones in the military. He writes with authentic confidence of the realities of military life, which often comes down to weeks of boredom punctuated by brief moments of sheer terror and violence.
In this fifth book in the series, Harris suddenly finds himself more unsure of his role in military life, his relationship to the government that created him, and of his always tenuous humanity. In Clone Betrayal, Harris thinks he's found the golden ticket, as it were, with access to an interstellar fleet of his own, a planet to use as a base of operations to exact vengeance on the politicians (both civilian and military) that he's grown to despise, and a girlfriend in the guise of a cloned Ava Gardner. Personally, if I were looking for a cloned girlfriend, I'd probably go for a Hepburn (Audrey or Katharine, either works fine for me), but Ava Gardner certainly fits more of the pinup kind of female companionship that you would expect from a Marine. Life is looking good for Harris.
But as luck would have it, and I don't think this is much of a spoiler here, Harris finds himself in conflicts with the clone leadership of his new fleet, separated from cloned female companionship for longer than he would like, the target of a contract hit by his former close associate and bounty hunter Ray Freeman, facing what looks like and turns out to be a resounding defeat, seriously wounded, and outsmarted by both his former military masters and his fellow clone warriors. In short, Harris sees his famous luck running out, his future in serious jeopardy, and his confidence in himself broken badly. Wayson Harris, military clone extraordinaire, discovers he has to be more human than he ever has before, and I find myself looking forward to more chapters in this ongoing saga. This isn't a narrative of big ideas and huge importance. Instead, I found this chapter to be a refreshing, more accessible, and intimate look at big themes on a personal level. It worked for me, and I'm going to continue reading.