Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand
**I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review**
3 ½ stars!
Woken in a lab, grown in a test tube, raised in a warehouse…she knows what she is. Ven is the Imitation of the real Raven Rogen, created for the rich in case they need anything from a kidney to an incubator for their child. And while Ven knows that she was created to serve, she still wants more…a chance at a life that she knows can never be. So when the Authentic Raven’s life is threatened, Ven is brought in to serve her purpose – draw out those responsible, even if it means an end to her short life. Of course during that time, she will dress like, eat like, and live just like her Authentic. Which means boys, parties, and lots of fun to be had…or is it? How can she have fun when she knows that she is the bait to such a dangerous trap?
To make matters even harder for Ven is the young man that is assigned to her security detail, Linc Crawford. As he believes her to be the Authentic Raven Rogen, he doesn’t think very highly of her – but of course that is not his job…his job is to serve and protect Raven and her ruthless father Titus. But as her assignment as Raven moves forward, she starts looking forward to “spending time with” Linc – him following her around to lunches, shopping trips, and parties where he tasked with keeping her safe while trying to draw out the attackers that have been trying to get the Authentic Raven. And as the Imitation, it is her job to not ask questions, but she can’t help but feel like there should be more to their lives – serving and moving on to Relocation to live out the rest of their lives. They should have a chance to love and live…but Titus has other plans for her, as he is her creator and father, he feels she should bow to his every whim…if only the Imitations could be created without free will. It may just be Ven’s undoing.
Ven is an interesting character…she’s as book smart as she possibly could be, but given that she hasn’t actually lived her life, she is lacking in the street smarts and the ways of the world. But once Linc enters her world, she knows that she doesn’t ever want to leave it or him…even if it means endangering her life even further – she just wants to help those like her to be given a chance at making their own destinies. This was an interesting story – a bit slower at times, but an extremely inventive idea at where our world could be headed – clones to help you along the course of your life. But it poses the interesting question of are they real people, or just expendable copies of real people? I would love to see what happens next with Ven and Linc – and how they plan on taking on Titus. Together, do they stand a chance to change the world, not just for the Imitations, but for the Authentics as well?