Wray has one hell of an original answer to how to continue a series after you
kill off your hero…to paraphrase Frau Farbissina*: Bring in the clone!
At the end of
Jemma7729 we see the title character, a leader in the MOVE rebellion, captured
by the ruling government and brought to a farce of a trial. There she discovers
the government has made an illegal clone from her DNA, which they use to
The joy of DNA?
Nothing is ever an exact copy. See, that was a concern for me, from a reader
standpoint, because J2 takes a quickstep back to a point just before this
monumental court case ends and we see events from the perspective of Jemma’s
clone, our new heroine. She looks like our Jemma and sounds like our Jemma, but
Jay is most definitely her very own person, something
Wray makes evident from the get-go. In fact, Jay sees Jemma as
her mother, swiftly establishing a sense of unique identity separate from the
Jay does inherit
more than genes from her “mother” though…a sense of justice and purpose. When
the establishment seeks to scrap the clone it no longer needs after Jemma’s
death, J2 does what every teenager excels at…she rebels and sends out her own
cry for justice.
One of the
things I like the very best about this book is that it takes all the elements
of action, excitement, and passion from the first book and makes them
distinctly new again because Jay most
definitely is not Jemma. The author took a beloved icon, martyred her, and almost seems to give her back, but
thankfully does not. See, Jay is quite her own person and we get to see the struggles and
challenges she faces in a world completely different from her previous isolated
existence. She grows and learns and takes a stand--much as her “mother” did--but
she does it in a way all her own. We get to see Jay as an individual, not a copy, and our
hearts are engaged all the more for that.
Don’t get me wrong…this isn’t all a
journey of self-discovery…remember that justice I mentioned? Jay and the rest of the MOVE operatives go
after it in 338 pages of intense action.
This continuing story is masterfully
handled by Wray and leaves this reader eagerly awaiting the next book in the
series, which is scheduled to release this year. I give J2 10 out of 10.