"How foolish we were, to act as gods."
Humans have been extinct for over 300 years after being eradicated by the slow plague. Having foresaw their extinction, a group of scientists figured out a way to successfully create clones using human DNA from ten different strands (out of their many samples). Although those ten clones were meant to repopulate the earth and save humanity, they had their own vision of the future. Once the last of the humans were gone, the clones worked hard at eliminating every 'human weakness' within their genes and even destroyed an entire line of their own for being too 'human-like'.
There are nine types of clones (now) and there are ten of each type for every batch made; only ten generations of each can exist in the world at one time, to keep things even and fair. The world is full of only 9 different faces (separated into three colonies): Althea's, Samuel's, Inga's, Carson's, Nyla's, Mei's, Hassan's, Kate's and Victor's - the original 9 scientists whose DNA was strong enough to clone.
The clones are beginning to realize, though, that with each generation their genetic makeup is deteriorating. They need a tenth clone - they need fresh human DNA to add to their gene pool. Luckily, the humans collected hundreds of DNA samples before they died out, and surely they can't all be failures. That's where Jack comes in.
The other clones see Jack as some sort of potentially lethal disease that shouldn't exist, and either ignore him or try to make his life in Vispera (what used to be known as Costa Rica) much more miserable than it already is. Well, most of them, anyway. Althea-310 has always felt a little different from her sisters, and while she may try to fight it, she realizes that she and Jack aren't as different as she once believed. Jack also manages to bring out the humanity within a few of the other clones, but that causes them to fracture and fractured clones must be terminated.
Will Jack just be another failed experiment or can he complete his ancestors' goal of saving humanity? What happened to all the other attempted 'tenth' clones before him?
Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay is a YA sci-fi dystopian tale of what it's like to be human in a world that completely lacks humanity. This is also a romance (slow burn), but that isn't really the main focus, and this book explores different types of love too.
At first I thought I was going to get lost in all the science that this story is built on, but I found it was actually really easy to keep up with. The world building and scientific explanations were written very well and are easy to follow. The characters had depth to them (despite the majority of them being copies of generations of copies) and the MC's show a lot of growth.
I really love how unique this story is; to be the only human living in a world full of hundreds of the same nine faces - creepy. What's more creepy is that they are all so out of touch with humanity that they never see the wrong in what they're doing - they can't be better because they don't know better - they have no morals. Getting rid of a failed experiment or a fractured clone isn't seen as murder, but necessary to better their world and keep the balance. They aren't exactly villains which makes you sympathize for them in a way.
I had such a hard time putting this book down. The writing style hooked me in and the plot twists and action scenes kept me wanting more. I should warn you - this book does sort of end on a cliffhanger. While I feel this could be kept as a standalone, as it only leaves you off with a couple of minor unanswered mysteries, a bigger part of me wants answers, haha.
Overall, this is a great debut novel and I highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for a fresh YA sci-fi and dystopian read. I'm definitely looking foward to seeing what Adrianne Finlay will write next.
**** I received an eBook copy of this title via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion. ****