June 3, 2020

Review: A Murder of Clones by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

On sale now.

Things are definitely heating up in the Retrieval Artist Universe. One thing we arrived back home to after our year-long great American road trip this past year was a stack of books from the sci-fi Anniversary Day saga. We’d read and reviewed Blowback, the second book in the installment, so we eagerly jumped right back in to the eight book series and recently finished A Murder of Clones for review this week.

Book Three in the eight part Anniversary Day Saga, A Murder of Clones by Kristine Kathryn Rusch out from WMG Publishing follows Earth Alliance Frontier Marshall Judita Gomez on her trek to investigate the Anniversary Day bombings on Earth’s Moon. Her quest spans alien worlds and cultures and leads her down a path that may destroy her crew, and the Earth Alliance along with it.

The Anniversary Day saga meshes classic science fiction with a good murder mystery, something that Rusch is no stranger to, having written across genres including romance, science fiction, mystery and more. And her Diving into the Wreck saga of deep space salvaging intrigue is still one of our all time faves. And like the Diving into the Wreck series, A Murder of Clones keeps you guessing, with a smart and sophisticated plot. The origin of the clones implicated in the Anniversary Day bombings is a mystery, sparking fear and paranoia as to the motives of the attackers throughout the Earth Alliance. Good science fiction often serves as a metaphor for modern day social dilemmas, and we see an ‘enemy among us’ theme in the Anniversary Day saga that parallels the modern War on Terrorism in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 attacks. A similar sort of ‘invasion of the body snatchers’ theme was evoked in the re-imaging of the Battlestar Galactica series, which was envisioned right around the time of the attacks.

Are the clones a source of fear or salvation? Rusch also does a great job at delving into the social implications that a society with cloned citizens might face. Expect complex aliens with inscrutable motives, political intergalactic intrigue, and fast-paced action. Rusch has pulled out all the stops on this one, and has created a new sub-genre of her own by inventing the intergalactic police procedural.

Perhaps we’ll see shows such as Law and Order: Extraterrestrial soon… SyFy channel, are you listening?

Rusch is one of those Stephen King-style writers whose prodigious literary content output verges on almost legendary, which is a good thing for her fans. We may have five books to go, but expect us to review the entire Anniversary Day Saga as we get around to ‘em.

But that’s enough. We won’t drop any spoilers, just suffice to say, read the series starting from book one; you won’t be disappointed… and the final high stakes showdown at the end of A Murder of Clones will propel you right into book four!

Next up: expect our review of another Fiction River collection from WMG publishing soon, as we complete Recycled Pulp!



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