The Clone Codes by The McKissacks

The Clone Codes
by The McKissacks
ISBN-13: 9-780545-284882
Rating: 3 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I liked it

The Cyborg Wars are over and Earth has peacefully prospered for more than one hundred years. Yet sometimes history must repeat itself until humanity learns from its mistakes. In the year 2170, cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an undergrounf movement is fighting for their freedom. Thirteen-year-old Leanna’s entire life is thrown into chaos when The World Federation of Nations discovers her mom is part of the radical Liberty Bell Movement.

After her mother’s arrest for treason, Leanna is chased by a ruthless bounty hunter. Soon Leanna finds herself living among the Firsts, and nothing will ever be the same.

As startling family secrets are revealed, Leanna must face truths about self-identity and survival. Through time travel and advanced technologies, this thrilling adventure asks what it means to be human.

The Clone Codes is the story of Leanna, and how within days, her entire life gets flipped upside down, and she has to question everything she’s ever been taught about her society and what constitutes humanity. In a world where clones and cyborgs are treated as slaves and second class citizens respectively, Leanna is shocked to discover that not everything is as it seems, and that her family has a long history with cloning – a history that becomes a whole lot more personal to Leanna as the truth unravels around her.

The idea behind The Clone Codes is quite an interesting one. The technology and backstory was handled well and creatively explained. The commentary on clones and cyborgs being thought of as not human, and so low class is gut wrenching in its implications. The story is well-written, but I wasn’t a fan of the pacing. Too much time passes in some parts without much happening to advance the plotline.

Leanna is an ok character, though I didn’t really connect with her. I didn’t really like her in the beginning, but she has to grow up pretty fast, and completely shift her world view as the story progresses. Even though the story is completely told through Leanna’s perseptive, because of the couple instances where time moves pretty fast, I felt I didn’t really get to know Leanna as well as I would have liked. Same goes for the secondary characters in the book – not much is learned about them, and I wasn’t able to really connect with anyone.

The backstory is interesting, but at times was a little confusing. I wondered at some points if I was reading a second book in a series, rather than the first. That said, I really think younger teens – girls and boys – will get a kick out of this imaginative story and really enjoy the action and idea of clones and cyborgs. Recommended for 10 and up!