Sunday, 21 August 2016

Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand

Title: Imitation
Series: Imitation (#1)
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-Fi, YA
Release Date: 12th March 2013
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame, Summer COYER 2016
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me. Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face.  Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now. When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?

I need to start my review with a sort of disclaimer, because inadvertantly it affected my reading experience. However I would also like to reiterate that it is completely my own fault. When I started reading Imitation, it was the copy on my Kindle which came from Netgalley, I then however switched to using my phone where the copy of Imitation came from Amazon. This led to a very confused 10 minutes until I figured out that they were different versions of the same book. I back tracked 5% or so then began reading the version from Amazon from where it differed to what I'd already read. However one of the big reveals later in the book had already been revealed in the other version which kind of detracted from the shock value. 

Ven was an interesting character. As a clone she was created to mimic her Authentic, Raven, in everyway. She studied her life and the things she was involved in but Ven didn't seem to like Raven very much (and yet she never actually met her). I actually ended up feeling a little sorry for the absent Raven, mainly because I didn't want to believe she was anywhere near as bad a person as Ven seemed to think, especially given how controlling her father came across. Also, where is the real Raven? Its a question I really want an answer for. 

I found the growing relationship between Linc and Ven good. It went at a fairly slow pace and on his side seemed to come from spotting discrepencies in Ven's behaviour while pretending to be Raven (she really wasn't very good at it!) It took a while for them to act on what they were feeling and there were several moments where trust became an issue between them. 

Most of the book was centred around Ven trying to fit into Raven's old life (and failing) but there were snippets of what the world as a whole was like. There seem to be three distinct "classes" of people, the Rich, the Poor and the Imitations. The latter seemed to basically be an exaggeration of modern day celebraties, whereas the poor were basically everyone from the middle class down (the world became too damaged for the middle class to exist), and the Imitations weren't counted as people (or well known about). In future books I hope that these are explored more. 

While my reading experience was hindered by my switching copies, I was still entertained and do plan on reading book 2 at some point!