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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review: Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand

Title: Imitation
Series: Clone Chronicles #1
Author: Heather Hildenbrand
Published: March 2013, Accendo Press
Format: Ebook received for review

Everyone is exactly like me.
There is no one like me.
The rough fabric of my cotton nightgown chafes so I lie very still. They say my discomfort comes from being built like one accustomed to niceties. How is that fair when I myself have never experienced anything but copies of the real thing?
My entire life is an imitation.
I am an Imitation.
I’ve been here five years. Training. Preparing. Waiting.
And now I have a letter.
My assignment has begun.
I am a prisoner.
I am not Raven Rogen.
I am here to die.

When I first read this blurb, I thought this book was going to be slightly like that movie with Saoirse Ronan, Hanna. I was wildly and gleefully wrong. This book rocked! Heather Hildenbrand, aside from being hilarious in a previous interview I did with her (link below), is an awesome author and she’s made an instant fan. Let’s talk about the book, eh?

Ven is a young girl with striking platinum looks. She’s kind and caring, and she worries for those she cares about. She has a strong moral ethic, and she seems like a generally good person. She’s also an Imitation, or in layman’s terms – a clone. She was created, not born. And someday her Authentic, the person she is a clone of (whose name is Raven, by the way) will need Ven to step in and take on the role of Raven. Well, that time is now. Ven is off to live in Rogen Tower with her “father”, Titus. I’ll get to him in a bit.

I love how the big fear in Ven’s life, up until now, is not knowing. She doesn’t know what is going to happen to her when she step’s outside of Twig City where her and the other Imitations live. She assumes it will put her in a situation that will eventually lead to her death. And somehow, she is oddly ok with this. And this is where Heather Hildenbrand is so fabulous. She makes me feel and believe that Ven is basically just a shell, even though my heart wants to fight back and say she is more. Ven’s beliefs are so deeply ingrained in herself that she believes herself to be ultimately temporary.

When Ven meets Titus it is not gratitude and love that he shows her, but quite the opposite. The man is a beast, and not in a sexy glorified way.  Titus is a titan with a god-complex and I instantly don’t like him.  I feel he is dangerous on so many levels. Turns out that’s for good reason.

So here she is, about to pretend she is Raven, and she has to make it believable. She has only the basic minimal knowledge of how this Authentic acts – she’s never even met her. Amazing. And now she has a security detail, and on that detail is Linc. Holy wonderful hell, Linc is wonderful. He’s protective and he knows something just isn’t right with Raven/Ven. But there is definitely a connection between the two of them, and I think he is the perfect love interest for Ven. I love everything about this man.

If you are looking to read something totally different, I suggest this book. It’s got some sci-fi, a touch of a dystopian and post-apocalyptic feel, lots of action, mystery, and even some treachery and deception.  It's a perfect story to keep you guessing and on your toes, for sure.  It’s not really a romance, so if that is your main goal I’d look elsewhere. There are a couple scenes that will melt your heart, but it definitely isn’t the focus. As for me, I’m anxiously awaiting book two!!

Previous Posts on Fictional Candy
 (there is still a giveaway going on for this post - check it out!)

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. She now lives in coastal VA, a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, with her two adorable children. She works from home, part time, as a property manager and when she's not furiously pounding at the keyboard, or staring off into space whilst plotting a new story, she's lying on the beach, soaking in those delicious, pre-cancerous rays.

Heather loves Mexican food, hates socks with sandals, and if her house was on fire, the one thing she'd grab is her DVR player.

Heather is a co-founder of Accendo Press, a publishing group she operates with fellow authors: Angeline Kace and Jennifer Sommersby. Accendo (a-CH-endo), A Latin word, means “to kindle, illuminate, inflame, or set fire.” This is something Accendo strives to do inside a reader’s imagination with every title released. For a complete list of titles and author bios, visit