Thursday, 13 August 2015

Review: 'Imitation' by Heather Hildenbrand

I got interested in reading Imitation after reading an interesting review about it. I was intrigued by the premise and how Hildenbrand would be able to set up this world. In the end, I found myself slightly disappointed but strangely not by anything particular. Thanks to Netgalley and Alloy Entertainment for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Pub. Date: 29/07/2014
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me. 
Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face. Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.
When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?
Fans of CinderThe Selection and Sara Shepard’s Lying Game series will love Imitation, a thrilling, action-packed novel sure to keep readers guessing until the very last page. 

Imitation was a novel which I felt held a lot of potential but that didn't really come to fruition. The basic plot very much reminded me of the film The Island but covered in a thick layer of YA. The basic plot surrounds a clone who is called into the real world to do what she was made for. From the very start of the book it feels as if this story could have served from more time and more space. Although Ven is an easy main character to root for there is also not much else that the reader can cling to since the book shoots past many things. They are explained in an almost too casual way which lead to me not caring for a lot of parts of the book. This also affects the romance-part of the book. Although it's sort of adorable and sort of works it's once again too rushed. Insta-love is simply not credibly and considering everything else that happens in this book I would've wished that Hildenbrand would've taken more time to let everything develop. 

I read Imitation within an evening. Sometimes being able to read a book quickly is a good sign because it's clearly a book you can't put down. However, at other times, it's a sign that there is nothing to a book that really captures and holds the imagination, nothing to really linger on. The latter was very much the case with me for Imitation. The plot developed along familiar lines with none of the twists really shocking the reader or actually twisting anything. Most of the book was executed pretty much exactly how I expected it to. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It shows it clearly as a genre-read, in my opinion. If the slightly romance-y mix between dystopian and YA is something you enjoy then Imitation will be right up your alley. If you're looking for something that is a bit more challenging you might find yourself bored with this book.

Of course Imitation is the first book in a series. This means that it has the task to create a setting, introduce the characters and set up the main narrative arcs. Something I was expecting a lot of was the world-building. When it comes to dystopian fiction I have realised that it is incredibly important that the world's main struggles are well-founded and explained. In Imitation I couldn't find enough background information or hints to believe in Hildebrand's world. The narrative moves on too quickly in the beginning to really get a feel for the situation of the Synthetics and then there seems to be an issue between the rich and the poor in the "real world" which is only ever casually mentioned but never seems important. If Imitation is meant to set up an arc here which will be important later on it fails. The lack of time spent on world-building, however, does serve the main character. Ven feels relatively real and although her development is also rushed it comes across as believable.

I give this book...

2 Universes.

Imitation is a fun but simple read. Not a lot of it really held my attention for a long span of time, but as narrative it worked relatively well. Imitation has a lot of promising ideas and the hope is that Hildenbrand continues to work with an don these in the next books in the series. I'd recommend this book to YA fans who are looking for a dystopian read.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh! The Island is such an amazing, underrated movie! It's a shame the same can't be said for this book. I completely agree that world building and background info is incredibly important in dystopian fiction, so it sucks that this author dropped the ball on that one. I doubt I'll be picking this one up after reading your review!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds