Saturday, January 28, 2012

REPLICATION by Jill Williamson

by Jennifer AlLee

I love reading young adult fiction. Most of the time, the YA books I enjoy the most appeal not only to the target audience, but to adults as well. Are any other 40-somethings out there looking forward to the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games? I rest my case. So today, I'm very excited to share Replication, the first book in a new young adult series by Jill Williamson.

Someone is covering up multiple secrets… Martyr—otherwise known as Jason 3:3—is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to “expire” in less than a month. To see the sky.

Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars.

As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures—the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he’s ever known.

I love this book! Even though we know from the start that Jason Farms is populated by clones, you have to ask the question: Clones of who? How this question is answered is one of the great surprises that pop up along the way.

Williamson tackles controversial issues such as cloning and when life begins in a thoughtful, unique way. By contrast to the "normal" teenagers in the book, Martyr at first seems awkward and out of place. But you realize that he's just like them... trying to figure out who he is and his purpose in the world.

The character of Abby is a Christian from the get-go, and her faith is treated as a natural part of who she is. So it's only natural that she would share her faith and her world view with Martyr, who has no knowledge of God. Some may find this overtly Christian, but I thought it worked quite well.
This is a great book for pre-teens and older. Parents, you'll want to read this one, too. It could lead to some very interesting conversations with your kids!

Q for U:  Have you given any thoughts to the ethics of human cloning? Where do you stand?

JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her first novel, The Love of His Brother, was released by Five Star Publishers in November 2007. Her latest novel, The Pastor’s Wife, was released by Abingdon Press in February 2010. Her next two novels are The Mother Road (April 2012) and A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (November 2012), both from Abingdon Press. She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.
Visit Jennifer's website at


  1. Sounds really cool. I remember when the big issue with cloning was that they'd be some sort of spiritless monsters. I can't imagine that would be the case.

  2. Jen, this book sounds interesting. I do like YA, and some speculative fiction. I think I'll check into this one. It kind of reminds me of an episode of "Sliders" that I did enjoy. In that episode, everyone had a clone and the clones were used for "spare parts".

    And yes, it does bring to mind that question of a soul that Dina mentioned. Interesting topic, for sure.

  3. I'm all for cloning. Where Do I sign up? Do I have to wait 15 yrs before DEB II is old enough to do housework and get a job for me while I stay home and write? Will she age too fast, like Dolly the Sheep? Will she have different thoughts than I because of growing up in a different home and culture? ( I don't want to raise her I just want her to be a copy of me!) Will she eat all my peanut butter or hate all my Jane Austen movies?

    Okay, I changed my mind. But I do want to read this book. It must be so thought provoking! Jen, you've hooked me in!

  4. Hey Gals!

    Cloning is a very complex issue, and one that isn't as far-out-sci-fi as it used to be. The technology is there, although not perfected. I think the only reason we haven't seen human clones yet is because of the ethical conundrum. But I think it's only a matter of time.

    The issue of a soul is the real sticking point... if you create a duplicate of someone, are you also creating their soul? Would God honor that scientifically created life by embuing it with a soul? Jill hits on those issues in the book. But I've got to tell you, the more I think about it, the more questions I come up with!

  5. To assume God wouldn't give it a soul would be like assuming he would only give a soul to one of two identical twins. My vote is yes it would, although I can't say that with any certainty. If the soul is indeed breathed in by God and not in the DNA, then who knows.

  6. I love YA. This one sounds like something my sons would really enjoy, thanks for highlighting it!

    As for the Hunger Games movies, YES!

  7. I totally 100% agree with Dina. I have thought about this issue before, and discussed it with my husband. No matter how any of us feel about the issue, as Jen said it IS being done.

    I don't think God would ever shut His eyes to a life created, no matter how it was created. I would even think that since He knows what's going on with cloning experiments, if one is successful He would be right there with that "clone" and infuse it with a soul. Of course I'm talking about a human clone here, not an animal clone. I know the whole issue of animals and souls is a debatable one for some, though I personally have an opinion on the issue.

    Speculation is interesting, isn't it? Or am I just weird that way?

  8. Oh, Deb! Lol! That reminds me of that movie, Multiplicity.

  9. Jen, you had me at HUNGER GAMES!!

    I can't wait. Do you suppose they sell I <3 Peeta t-shirts? I could wear one and embarrass my kids.

    Back to the post. I read YA and this sounds like it's exciting to read as well as thought-provoking. I think I'd better check it out!

    As for cloning, wow. Huge issues. Life comes from God--even in petri dishes. Not that I'm saying cloning is right. I don't like it at all. But only God can give life. So I would think every person He gives life to would have a soul.

  10. Sounds like an interesting premise. I always liked good YA and children's books too.

    I think clones are basically identical twins, so yes, I'd imagine each clone would have a soul.


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