Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ringer

Ringer (Replica, #2)

Ringer is the sequel to Replica and continues the story of Gemma and Lyra. Gemma has returned to her parents after learning the secret of Haven, the base off the coast of Florida where they're cloning children, and Lyra and her companion Caelum have been relocated to Tennessee. Gemma's dad was a bigwig in the whole cloning thing, so he has a lot of pull, and he promised Gemma that no harm would come to Lyra and Caelum. However when Gemma overhears a conversation indicating her father may have lied, she takes off to find her friends, accompanied by her boyfriend Pete.

After seeing some initial mixed reviews, I was expecting this to be a bit disappointing, but I actually liked it a lot. I liked Gemma more in this one- in the first book she didn't do a lot for me- but here I may have preferred her POV to Lyra's. Lyra of course is the clone perspective, and I liked Caelum a little more in this one too.  We get some nice twists and turns, lots of action, and even some some nuanced discussion of what makes us human. One perspective I would have liked to see more of is Kristina, the mother of Gemma. She medicates and drinks herself into a haze to avoid the reality of her life, but when Gemma is in danger she decides to take things in hand. I would have liked more.

The detectives perspective was welcome as well. Lyra runs into a detective in her flight, and when something doesn't feel right to him, he decides to take a closer look. This is a nice way of showing how the kindness and decency of a stranger can make a difference. So all in all I liked the character work here, and of course we get a bit of the villains' perspective as well, given the ethical landmines involved in the cloning project. If there's one complaint it's that the writing seemed a little flowery at times, almost as if Lauren Oliver was trying to make this read a little more literary? That could just be me though, I've never noticed it with her writing before.

On balance I would say Ringer is a definite win for me. We get a lot more of the aftermath of the Haven disaster, Gemma and Lyra grow as people (especially Lyra), you have a nasty replica called Calliope who wreaks havoc, and it's just a fun clone story. I like the dual format and I think it mostly works. One of my favorite aspects of the book is the question of who is really the bad guy? The scientists who claim replicas have no soul and are therefore not people? The initial reaction is to be horrified at that, until certain replicas kill without remose and you're forced to ask- are they people? 

24 comments:

  1. Oh neat! New to me series. Didn't know about this one, but the emphasis on character development along with the cloning element have me interested.

    Thanks, Greg!

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  2. I've been meaning to read this series but haven't got round to it. Your review has bumped them up on my tbr list :-)

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  3. I have put this one off because I didn't love the first one but might eventually pick it up. Glad it worked for you. Great review!

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    1. I hope you like it if you get to it. I liked it better in some ways than Replica, in that the clones are on the loose and mayhem ensues!

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  4. I'm kind of on the fence about this one, I wasn't totally enamored with the first book but it's good to know that you liked it. Great review!

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    1. Thanks Lauren. I liked it better in some ways, but it's also similar in some ways. I know Replica got a bit of mixed reviews. Hope you like it if you get to it!

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  5. I'm happy you didn't let the mixed reviews keep you from reading Ringer, Greg. I have Replica sitting on my shelf untouched so far but you have me intrigued about all the things Oliver could be touching on society-wise. I'm happy you enjoyed Ringer!

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    1. I did. And thanks! I'm glad I stuck with it too, but to be honest I liked Replica enough that I was hooked.

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  6. I saw that the library has this series, cool :D I have to take a look

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    1. I hope you like it if you give a go.

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  7. I heard a mixed bag about it, but I love the format of this book, I think it sounds so interesting! The plot alone is kind of cool, not knowing who the bad guy is an all.

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    1. I like the format too, seeing both perspectives. And this does seem to get a mixed review, these books, but I enjoyed them.

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  8. I have the first book in this series on my kindle. I need to read it. I’m glad to hear that the second one wasn’t disappointing. At least in your opinion.

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    1. Yeah, I thought the second one might even be better, s it delves into things more.

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  9. I still haven't started the first book. So little time....It's good to hear this one worked out for you, Greg.

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  10. I didn't not like this book, but rather felt like it didn't do that much to advance the story. I did like that Oliver gave both Lyra and Gemma endings, and I also liked that she gave them both some happiness.

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  11. Oh GOOD, I am glad that you liked it! I want to start it, because I do genuinely want to know what happens, but... it's so long, basically like reading 2 whole books. It should COUNT as two whole books. Actually, maybe I'll mark it as such- who will tell me I can't, really?

    I like that there was character growth too, I felt that the characters were a bit underdeveloped in book one (and I feel like that is usually one of the author's strengths, so sad). Great review, glad it ended up being decent!

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  12. Never heard of this, but it sure sounds interesting and different. Everything always seems to work when the character development is on point. Happy Friday! Hugs...

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  13. I've only read one of Oliver's books but I've been meaning to try more.

    Glad it was a win for you despite the mixed reviews.

    For What It's Worth

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  14. I've seen this book series about but something has been holding me back from giving it a go completely. You've give me much to think about with this review.

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  15. I really need to read these. I have both books. Do you know if it's just going to be a duology?

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  16. I probably won't be getting to these books, but I enjoyed reading your review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

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