October 2010 (out now), Simon and Schuster
432 pages, Paperback
Young adult, thriller
Heartache, lots of danger, a little bit of violence, lots of peril, a smidgen of humour, friendship tested, genetic engineering (in terms I could understand),
Summary from Simon and Schuster
Clones Rachel and Theo now live thousands of miles apart. They keep in touch, but things just aren't the same. When Rachel discovers that evil scientist Elijah is still working in secret for a section of the government and about to murder Daniel, she sets out to rescue the little boy, but her plans backfire with disastrous consequences. Across the Atlantic, Theo becomes suspicious when Rachel misses their weekly internet chat. He discovers a report online saying she's killed herself and travels to Scotland to find her, certain that she has been kidnapped. A clue leads him to Elijah's mysterious clinic, where the sinister Aphrodite Experiment is underway. But what is Elijah really planning? Why does he need to track Rachel down so badly? And will Rachel and Theo be able to pay the ultimate ransom that he demands?
I've spent several extremely happy hours this week devouring Sophie's books. This latest conclusion in a two-book series that started with Blood Ties. Oh my word, this shoots to the top of my thriller list. Elijah plays the part of an evil, mind-warped scientist well, with his own bodyguards. Rachel hated leaving Daniel with Elijah, and naturally she runs at the first news - from a strange source - that he is in trouble. Daniel isn't really in trouble. Rachel is. Rachel is the one who Elijah wants. This is quite a turn around from him wanting Theo in Blood Ties. I liked this switch in Elijah's fixation. It gave Rachel a chance to work on the girl she'd become by the end of Blood Ties. She can fight (although hasn't enough experience to get around those with more fighting expertise), she can think herself out of a situation. Yes, she can be impulsive, but she follows her heart. She wants to do the right thing.
Doing the right thing isn't always easy. A real plus side of this book is that it addresses the contemporary issue of cloning. Personally I'm against it. For obvious reasons, so are Theo and Rachel. But Elijah drums up the odd semi-decent reason as to why cloning is beneficial to humanity. He makes Rachel think twice about her own reasoning about the entire situation. That's until she finally sees what Elijah wants from her, what he is doing. That was one seriously creepy lab room. And a gross violation of medical rules. *shudders*. Anyway, Rachel has to hurt those she loves a lot, just in order to keep the world safe. But who will keep her safe? To learn the answer to that, you'll just have to read it. The ending is lovely. Although I'd love to know what happens next in Rachel and Theo's life.
If you haven't read a book by Sophie McKenzie, do so now. They have everything a thriller lover like me adores, including strong female protagonist (and yes Theo is ok too, I'm just a fan of Rachel :) ).
Do check out Blood Ties, and also one of Sophie's earlier books, Girl Missing.