Sunday, 9 October 2016

Cipher by SE Bennett

Title: Cipher
Author: SE Bennett
From: Netgalley
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 12th March 2014
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge,2016 Blogger Shame
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Cipher Omega is a failed experiment, an identical clone of the brilliant, damaged woman whose genome the scientists of the Basement were trying to copy and improve. All her life she has dreamt of life outside the laboratory, on the surface world, but when her home is destroyed and she’s left the only survivor of a hundred-year human cloning project, she is forced to face the reality of the military-ruled nation that created her. Aided by the only other surviving child of the Basement, an enigmatic solider named Tor, and two rebel freedom fighters named Bowen and Oona Rivers, Cipher finds herself searching for answers, at any cost.

Cipher  was a good read, it was fast paced and I really got the message about what actually makes you human that seemed to be running through it. The first chapter was actually an event from near the end of the book, and it had me intrigued from the start, and then even more so when odd events happened compared to what I knew about that. The technique was also used a little bit within chapters too. 

It was easy to remember that Cipher was only 16, but that was tempered with a slightly more mature outlook based on the fact that she'd been through so much grief, as well as a non-childhood. As a clone she was kept hidden from the world in general and that meant that she was brought up in a more sterile environment. 

However, Cipher's biggest flaw in the eyes of her creators is that she is capable of loving and wants affection. This led to the friendships and bonds that she formed throughout the book and what I really liked about her characterisation is that she didn't just forget about the people she'd left behind, they were part of the reason she'd carried on in the first place. I also felt like she actually grieved, whereas a lot of authors seem to skip over some of that. 

I wasn't sure what to make of the love triangle. Now don't get me wrong it isn't a major part of the plot, but it was clear early on that Cipher was at least a little interested in two different characters. I wasn't too sure about the resolution of this, but the ending is definitely written as if there could be more to the series, so I'm happy to keep an open mind about it. 

Bowen, Oona and Tor were all great side characters, and complex in their own ways. They had their own varying motivations and they seemed to stick to what they believed. I liked that they weren't one dimensional and they were about more than just helping move Cipher along as a character. 

This was an interesting read, and kept me engaged from beginning to end!