Author : Matthew FitzSimmons
Published : September 1st, 2021 by Thomas & Mercer
I went into this book fairly cold, only knowing the little bit I had read in the Amazon blurb, and from what little I saw Constance by Matthew FitzSimmons looked to be a science fiction romp with a ton of promise.
In the end though, I’m left torn between loving parts of it, loving the concept, but feeling a bit mislead as this book doesn’t quite turn out to be the sci-fi greatness I envisioned. That’s on me and not a reflection of the quality of the book at all, however.
Looking back on it, overall it’s a pretty solid read. FitzSimmons has a nice pace with his writing that toes the line between ‘fast paced page turner’ and ‘contemplative food for thought’ that is ultimately satisfying. So often this book made me pause to think once again about the central question posed by this story, if human cloning were possible, is there any conceivably good outcome that would come from it?
For me, that’s a resounding NO. Human cloning can only lead to bad things in my opinion, no matter how good the intentions behind it may be.
But it makes for some terrific food for thought.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about they mystery/thriller elements of this book. Of all the books in this genre that I’ve read so far this year(which admittedly isn’t a TON), I’ve mostly been able to figure out the mystery well in advance of it being revealed in the book.
In itself, that isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s nice to be surprised by plot twists and character arcs that you didn’t already figure out around the halfway point of the book. And while I had a few moments of clarity where I guessed right, by and large I didn’t have this one figured out until it was already unfolding on the page.
FitzSimmons did a nice job of keeping me distracted and keeping me unsure of who was behind everything, what their motives were, and just what was actually going to happen in the end. While it was well done, the fact it veered so heavy into the mystery and thriller side was actually one of the things that took me out of this book a little bit.
Your mileage may vary, of course. I was waiting for the action and sci-if side of things to ramp back up and felt a little off-balance the because it never really happens. Yes there is action, and plenty of suspense, but the sci-fi element becomes secondary to the mystery elements.
Thinking back on it now and trying to look at it objectively, the mystery and thriller aspects were pretty well done though, so I shouldn’t be so hard on this book.
At the end of the day I enjoyed the characters, mostly. Some don’t really have a lot to do… they just show up, become a seemingly integral part of the story, only to be forgotten about just as quickly. But for our main players, particularly Con, we’re treated to a fun ride through this tale.
Unfortunately for me, there was something about this book that didn’t quite click for me. I think it was more to do with the fact I picked up on those big time sci-fi vibes from the start only to have the book jump quickly into the mystery/thriller territory and honestly, I was just hoping for more of a science fiction edge to go with the story. Before I realized I wasn’t in the mood for a mystery/thriller with just a hint of sci-fi, I was already too far committed, so I pushed through and finished it.
If you enjoyed the Netflix series(which is also based on a book if I recall) Altered Carbon, then you’ll enjoy this book quite a bit. However, don’t expect quite as much sci-fi as you’d find in Altered Carbon as this book is definitely more of a mystery/thriller than a hard sci-fi tale.
It’s certainly worth a read, but for me it was only a moderately fun ride that felt a bit confused as to if it wanted to be sci-fi or mystery.
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