Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.
While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything… until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.
I quite liked this for a while. I think up till about 40%, I was enjoying it a lot and then it somehow began to fall apart for me. Here’s the thing, I really like Applegate’s books. I loved Sharing Sam and have read it countless times. I haven’t read anything of Michael Grant but people seem to really like this Gone series so I figured I was in safe hands. And I was, to a large portion, I was.
The concept is really unique and the characterizations are well done. The fractious relationship between Eve and her mother is very intriguing and Solo presents a mystery I would have liked to delve into. I felt that the narrative veered off course when Adam appeared. The world building, too, was not as strong as I would have liked it to be and there is a whisper of more but it remains a whisper and Solo’s vendetta against Evening’s mother goes nowhere.
I was not a fan of the romance in this book. If it had been Solo alone, yeah, but there’s Adam and then there’s some insta-love thrown in. We are basically told who Eve prefers rather than being shown and this detracted a whole lot from the entire story. I felt that the latter part of the narrative is suddenly thrown together and that people who weren’t even present for most of the narrative suddenly are important and the readers are being demanded to accept things that have no basis or given any foundation prior to the reveal. I read something by Patricia C. Wrede the other day where she said that authors have to be careful to not throw readers out of the narrative by flaws in their world building. For me, this occurs during the whole dilemma where if Eve “built” Adam to be her perfect mate, there should have been no way she could have resisted him. If she does resist him, he is not her perfect mate. Know what I mean?
Do I recommend this? It was an okay read but it lacks a coherence (in my opinion) that ties up everything together. If Solo is prepared to go against Eve’s mother, why hasn’t he prepared a place for himself outside the medical facility? Ah, there are many other questions like this one that makes reading this novel a bit of a challenge.