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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Clone Codes by The Mckissacks (ARC)

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized1 Comment

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: 01 February 2010
ISBN: 0439929830
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 192
Book Source: ARC borrowed from a friend, unknown where she received it from
None Found

Place(s) Traveled to:
St Louis, Missouri in the year 2170
Atlantis University, Atlantis Island off the coast of North Carolina

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Synopsis from

In the year 2170, despite technological and political advances, cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for 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 must escape as she is chased by a ruthless bounty hunter. Soon Leanna finds herself living among the Firsts, and nothing will ever be the same again. But what does The World Federation want with the daughter of a traitor? So much is uncertain. Danger hides everywhere. Fear takes over. With help from unlikely sources, Leanna learns the origin of The Liberty Bell Movement and how its members may have answers about her past-and her new reality.

As family secrets are revealed, Leanna must face startling truths about self-identity and freedom. Through time travel, advanced technologies, and artificial intelligence, this exhilarating adventure asks what it means to be human and explores the sacrifices an entire society will make to find out.

I’ve never been more confused about who wrote a book then I have been with Clone Codes. Normally this shouldn’t be such a difficult task you just look on the cover and there is the author’s name. But on this book the front cover just says The McKissacks. Then in the back where the author write up is there is a blurb for a John McKissack….finally some success. Only not so much. For LibraryThing lists the author as Patricia McKissack, who is definately not a John and Amazon lists the author as Patrica AND Frederick McKissack….again no John. So where did this John come from? Why do we get his author blurb and no mention on Patricia or even Frederick? After further digging I learn that this 192 page book was written by all THREE of these people.

That’s right….THREE people have had their hands in this very short book. Learning this I now understand why the writing was so choppy and muddled. The overall premise was an intriguing on but the story was filled with such starts and stops and random jumps that it was had to stay focused. The shortness of the story don’t allow the reader much time to get invested in the characters. Which is a shame because there are some really interesting ones in this story. Its futuristic setting allows for the existence of clones and cyborgs and space travel is right on the horizon. There are complex issues involving what it means to be human and a hark to historical data in referring to cyborgs as 3/5th human, which is how slaves were once referred as. In this world the fact that Cyborgs aren’t fully human, being only 3/5ths a person then they don’t deserve the same rights as humans. You can only imagine the sort of resentment and discussion issues that this might raise. After all didn’t humanity learn anything from its past? And if not, then why not?

However all these deeper and complex thoughts are abruptly cut short. Its as if the multiple writers just got tired to telling the story and so just typed “the end” and called it a day. I haven’t been able to discover if there will be a sequel to this story but the way it ended it certainly is set up for one as there was no obvious conclusion. I’m intrigued by this world but I’m not sure I’ll pick up another collaborative book by these three authors. At least not until they work out the kinks of writing together because at the moment this book certainly suffers from that old expression of too many cooks in the kitchen.

The author of this post is a member of Amazon Associates, which gives the author a small portion of the proceeds if anyone clicks on the link in the image above and purchases the book.

One Response to “Clone Codes by The Mckissacks (ARC)”

  1. Kathleen

    Lol wow three people trying to write one book? That’s gotta be difficult- both for the authors and the audience!