Thursday, May 9, 2013

Swans & Klons - Review & Giveaway

Title Swans and Klons
Author Nora Olsen
Genre YA Fantasy, dystopia, GLBT
Publisher  Bold Strokes Books
Publishing Date May 14, 2013
How I Got This Book NetGally
Paperback 264 pages
Stand-alone or Series Stand-alone
   My Average 11 pg/day
   Reading Difficulty 4 (because of made up words)
(on a scale of 1-5 5 = dictionary vernacular)
Soilent Green Is People!

What does it take to survive in a world built on lies?

Sixteen-year-old Rubric loves her pampered life in the Academy dormitory. She’s dating Salmon Jo, a brilliant and unpredictable girl. In their all-female world, non-human slaves called Klons do all the work. But when Rubric and Salmon Jo break into the laboratory where human and Klon babies are grown in vats, they uncover a terrifying secret that tears their idyllic world apart.

Their friends won’t believe them, and their teachers won’t help them. The Doctors who rule Society want to silence Rubric and Salmon Jo. The two girls must flee for their lives. As they face the unthinkable, the only thing they have left to believe in is their love for each other.

This book is labeled as a GLBT novel, the only reason it has that label is because there are no men in this story. Women fall in love with women. GLBT is not the theme. This is a YA dystopia.

I loved the idea. I saw this book on Netgally and looked inside a few times. I think it was the second or third time I looked inside that I decided I just needed to request it.

The turning point, albeit not surprising, was interesting and continued the movement of the book forward. In fact, once we hit the turning point, the story-line moved at a much better pace.

I love it when society is the villain. It's really hard to fight against something so large and separate, yet together. Like trying to bat away a swarm of Parana with your fists. It makes you feel suffocated, like there's no way the main characters can win. Yet they pull out some how.

Lastly, the last few pages made my heart hammer. I wish more of that excitement, danger and fear were strung throughout this novel. That would have been the cherry that could have taken this novel to the next level.

This book needs a little more refining. There's a fantastic idea behind it. Slavery is bad, the government is lying to you. Fantastic! But, the emotions I got from the main character were muted.

I really didn't feel a sense of urgency or desire to do what was right. It just seemed like all of a sudden, the main character went from an artist to a philanthropist. 360. I often found myself wondering what was the driving force behind the Rubic's choice to free the Klon's?

I'm not sure I understand the decay of the male population though? One of the other characters was fascinated by it, and it really felt like that was going to be a bigger part of the story because of that, but it was just a glimmer. What could cause all of the male population to die out? To all be born handicapped?

There are several made-up words, sort of like Era slang. I had a hard time at first figuring out what all of the words were and what they meant. That slowed down my reading. As a dyslexic, I pick up on words pretty fast, but I sometimes need a little more context clues.

Rating: C

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Nora Olsen

I write for teenagers. I live in New York State with my lovely girlfriend Áine Ní Cheallaigh. My debut novel The End was published by Prizm Books in December 2010. My second YA novel, SWANs & KLONS, is forthcoming from Bold Strokes Books in May 2013.

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