The Clone Redemption
by Steven L. Kent
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Ace Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781937007027
Date: 25 October 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Clone Wayson Harris is back for another round in the seventh novel of the Clone Republic Series. The Avatari are continuing to burn the planets that they have lost. The fast and extreme nature of the destruction is terrifying and the cause is completely unknown. Neither the Clone Republic nor the Unified Authority have an answer. Harris has to find leaders and save as many as he can in the limited time he has to prepare.
In a first for the series, a significant amount of time is spent following the action of the Japanese self-broadcasting fleet and its search for the Avatari home world. The Unified Authority gave them a weapon that may help, but the Avatari's new super weapon can work against a small target as well as a large one. The race to annihilation is on.
Since this is the seventh novel in the series, it isn't a good entry point. Although the action is similar to the prior novels, this is no clone. The other six are worth reading, so interested readers should pick up a copy of The Clone Republic to follow the adventures of the last Liberator clone and the events that led up to the current novel.
This is a pretty standard space warfare series. The action is fast paced and the body count is high. One of the interesting subplots is the competition between naturals and clones. The fight pits where those bred to fight and those trying to relearn the skill are pitted against each other. Not the fairest of fights, but the naturals have the advantage of production. In some ways this series is a Civil War for a new generation. Fans of Ian Douglas, Jack Campbell, David Sherman, and Graham Sharp Paul should find plenty here to enjoy.
This is likely to be the last Clone titled novel, but it may not be the end of the universe. In the author's note Kent, says that he has more stories to tell, but the focus will be different in these future novels. I am saddened that the end of the series is here, but the series and its arc have run their course and a new start is needed. The other thing about a new start is the opportunity to bring in new readers, as long series tend to scare off new readers that are afraid to commit.