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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

"A chilling tale of nature vs. nurture, the power of trusting, and the belief in the transformative power of kindness to change who we are. The underlying theme that we can choose to be whoever we want to be, despite what we've been taught, screams from the pages of Copied. I highly recommend this clean, intriguing novel--don't miss it." -Cindy M. Hogan, author of the Watched trilogy Adopted off the black market, Alexander Mitchell, has no idea his DNA is copyrighted and property of military weapons giant Texacom Defense. Nor that his DNA is being used to develop an army of clones. When the company discovers he was not properly disposed of 17 years ago, they send an assassin copy, BETA23, to terminate Xan and cover it up. After narrowly escaping with his life, Xan teams up with Lacey, a genetically engineered genius, to capture BETA23. Lacey, who can't resist the prospects of a science project this huge, is determined to see the good in their prisoner - his intelligence may help keep t…


by S.M. Anderson

Overall Book Review:

Presenting an interesting notion of genetically engineered DNA and human cloning, rookie author S.M. Anderson’s debut novel, Copied, is a thrilling sci-fi adventure perfect for teenagers.

Told through third person point of view, readers are introduced to protagonist Alexander, aka Xan. Teenager Xan and his average world are suddenly turned topsy-turvy after an attempt is made on his life. This attack catapults him into a series of mind-boggling events and urges unlikely friendships to form.  Xan is a likable character, and the formation of new acquaintances creates an amusing dramatic dynamic, especially his growing romantic interest in awkward Lacey Smart.

The ending picks up the pace and most of the major questions readers will develop through their reading will be answered in an epilogue chapter. Not everything is cut and dry, as the author slyly leaves room for a bit more secrecy. Could this develop into a sequel?

The book is fun, but the writing becomes disjointed on various occasions, making for a rough transition. Though it is not a polished novel, Ms. Anderson still succeeds in generating an overall enjoyable read that should appeal to a younger audience that is more concerned with entertainment, rather than literary precedence.

Science fiction elements set in a contemporary society build into mystery, romance, and adventure in S.M. Anderson’s, Copied.

If you liked this novel you may enjoy James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series, or Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Curiosity Quills Press

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation; 2 mild obscenities; 2 derogatory names; 3 scatological words.

Violence/Gore: Characters run into each other (2x); in anger character shoulders past another character (2x); character falls hitting his/her head; extended scene (about 1 page) character sees his/her arm being consumed by fire, sees friend also receiving injuries inflicted by fire; teen accused of setting fire and injuring friend; while playing, a sport character intentionally hits another teammate setting of a physical altercation; character is pinched by an animal, blood mentioned; character grabs character’s shirt in a threatening manner (2x); secondhand report of destruction of property; parent tells child they are the result of a failed abortion; report of bicycle accident that caused injury; character plants an explosive with the intent to kill other characters; character refers to the killing of a 2 year old child as being, “terminated”; extended scene (about 1 page) characters engage in a physical altercation, punching and kicking, blood mentioned, characters are shot with a tranquilizer; character punches another character; characters briefly discuss disposing of another character (murder) (2x); character is threatened at gun point; character is threatened with high voltage shock; extended scene (about 2 pages) character grabs character pinning and gagging them, pinned character tries to fight off attack; character punches another character repeatedly; character is shoved; character remembers being punched; threat of an altercation; character cuts him/herself; character grabs another character’s shoulder forcefully; character is held at gunpoint; character threatens another character; character incapacitates another character leaving them unconscious, second hand report of threat; character knocks another character to the ground; extended scene (about 1 page) character is shot and threatened, character head-butts another character, blood mentioned; character finds another character has been knocked unconscious; extended scene (about 2 pages) characters fight kicking, punching, throwing objects, characters fall from a window, mention of blood and broken bones; mention of injures; report of character’s death and disposal of body.

Sex/Nudity:  Female character’s shirt becomes wet, making bra visible; character notices teen couple making out, rubbing each other’s backs; teens hold hands and snuggle; comment on “date rape drug”; parent discusses having a difficult time conceiving child and undergoing fertility and in vitro treatments; parent tells child they are the result of a failed abortion; reference to pregnant teen; characters hug; male character jokingly offers to make out with female character; teens hold hands and kiss; teens hug; mention of searching half naked body (non-sexual); characters hug; characters hold hands (about 3x); character puts arm around another character, they embrace; characters embrace + kiss on head; character removes clothes to bathe/shower (non-sexual about 2x); embrace (2x) + kiss on cheek; clinical nudity; character dreams about kiss; kiss on head; kiss on cheek; teens described as “kissing in earnest”.

Mature Subject Matter:

Genetic enhancement/cloning/ethical science, conspiracy theories, computer hacking, killing/death, abortion, secret government facility.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A few mentions of stimulant drugs (non-narcotic); parent inquires whether adolescent has been drinking alcohol; teen accused of drunk driving; drug induced sleep; comment on “date rape drug”; mention of a character being an undercover agent in a drug lord’s house.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I appreciate books of all genres, but my main squeeze is fiction. Depending on my mood it could be romance or suspense; lately I’ve been courting fantasy. When I don’t have my nose in a book, I am locating tasty paleo recipes, writing in-coherent poetry, and crafting with paper.