Swans and Klons by Nora Olsen

First, the horribly truncated summary: In the future, men devolve into apes and women enslave each other.

For some, the future is closer than this book gives credit.

I was given a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Netgalley is generous and benevolent in waiting for me to perform, and for that, I thank them.

As it turns out, dystopia is the new paranormal romance. We like our dystopia these days, especially when the price of gas goes up. What’s a sparkley vampire going to do about that, huh?

Hmm… vampires attacking oil refineries. It’s just crazy enough to work.

Our future in this book is a time where a mitochondrial disorder has deformed men mentally and physically. In order to save the race, women began to clone themselves, leading to a society where there are only 300 types of women.

Not sure why they didn’t try to clone the last genetically healthy male, but that’s not important. What is important is that the leaders of the Society have created an upper and lower class based on genetics. The perfect embryos turn into Pannas while the “defective” ones are raised as laborers, or Klons.

The book opens with Rubric Anne (all Pannas are given nouns as a first name) waiting to find out which genetically-similar Panna will be taking her as a mentor. All young Pannas wait excitedly for this day, since it means adulthood/freedom from dorm living. Her girlfriend/schatzie, Salmon Jo, is selected to work at the genetic reproduction plant while Rubric trains with a famous artist.

We adopted a German vernacular in the future. No one knows why, we just did. Sorry, Japan, you tried your hardest.

Salmon Jo finds out that the differences between Pannas and Klons are non-existent and tells Rubric. Rubric tries to find out more and gets them both into trouble, so the two girls flee.

The devil is in the details and the details of this future world just aren’t here. When the reveal happens, the world isn’t built up enough to make it earth-shattering, so it instead turns lackluster. Scenes that should be action scenes are talked about instead of shown to us. The idea is good and the story is decent, but I kept wanting more than I was given.

Also, the ending was good, but the setup for it felt heavily contrived.


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