Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

BILLY
Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski
Publisher: Severed Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (165 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Six billion identical clones make up the entire population of Earth, and William 790-6 (57th Iteration) is exactly like everybody else. In his one year of life he will toil in suburban mediocrity and spend as much cash as possible in order to please his corporate masters. When 790’s first birthday (and scheduled execution) finally rolls around, a freak accident spares his life.

Living past his expiration date changes 790 profoundly. Unlike other clones he becomes capable of questioning the futility of his own existence. Seeking answers in the wilderness, he discovers a windmill with some very strange occupants, including a freakish, dinosaur-like monstrosity. Which is especially strange since every animal on earth is supposed to be extinct…

Sometimes it takes something monstrously large to jolt you out of your daily routine. Say, for example, cheating death through a random twist of fate.

The unusual title and quirky premise caught my attention right away. As an avid science fiction reader, I was fairly certain I knew how this plot was unfold. I couldn’t have been more wrong. One of the things I appreciate the most about this author’s writing style is how skilled he is at keeping me on my toes. Mr. Kozeniewski always seems to have one more trick up his sleeve that that doesn’t reveal itself until the last possible moment.

It would have been helpful if the plot had spent more time explaining how the cloning process works in this universe and why the clones are only allowed to live a year. The explanations that were given for these things were interesting, but they stirred up far more questions in my mind than they answered. Some of the things certain characters said about this process seemed contradictory. It was never quite clear to me if this needed to be discussed in greater detail or if those passages were intentionally written that way.

I was expecting to be incredibly confused by a book filled with guys who look identical and all have the same name, but the plot did a great job differentiating among them. The author’s clever use of nicknames and telltale quirks made it easy for me to always tell exactly which William I was dealing with even when there were several of them in the same scene.The character development was subtle at first. It soon picked up speed, though, and surprised me with how much it changed 790 in particular over time.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus was a wild ride. This is a good choice for hardcore fans of this genre who are in the mood for something incredibly unique.

Comments

  1. Thank you for taking the time to review my book, LAS!

  2. You’re welcome.

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