Narrator: Steve Rimpici
Publisher: Stephen Kozeniewski (2017)
Length: 4 hours 59 minutes
William 790 (later known as Billy) is a good clone. He goes to work every day in his boring insurance sales job, has the same thing to eat every night, catches the ball game with the other clones, sleeps, and gets up and does it all over again. Each clone gets 1 year of life and then he gets slurried. It’s a world of monotony, Williams as far as you can see. Yet Billy manages to avoid getting slurried due to a freak accident. He then starts questioning his life and this entire existence.
I initially tried to read the ebook but then switched over to the audiobook. The beginning reminded me of that movie Ground Hog Day. Billy does the same routine again and again, even after the freak accident because that’s what his replacement would have done. So it was a little slow for me as I kept waiting for something more to happen. When I switched over to the audiobook, things moved along more quickly for me.
Billy has to get sneaky, something he isn’t programmed for. He learns about an odd building somewhere in the wilds in between two Williamsport cities. Yep. All the cities have ‘William’ in their name and everyone lives in the glorious country of Williamerica. Privately, this was all rather amusing to me since my husband is Bill. Ha!
OK, so Billy starts showing some initiative and the story gets more interesting. He stops to pee by the road and he happens to see this weird building (a windmill) and as he goes to investigate he finally comes across the cloneasaurus! Yes! Since this little guy is on the cover and in the title I really wanted to meet it. This reptile understandably freaks Billy out, since all animal life has been extinct for several generations of Williams. From there, Billy meets the William that made the cloneasaurus and then we finally get our one and only female, Willa.
The second half of the book was way more interesting than the first. Billy starts looking at the top of the hierarchy and how he can go on living. He’s also fascinated with Willa and some awkward conversations occur which are amusing to the reader but rather embarrassing for Billy. He’s never used his personal equipment for self gratification so he’s in the dark about natural procreation.
I was a little disappointed that Willa didn’t get a bigger role. She’s well read, educated in a biochemistry lab, raised by a man with radical political ideas. She has a lot of potential to be a force to change things. But then nothing other than being the romantic interest of the tale ensues for her. Sigh…
The ending was down right creepy. I loved the ending. It really made the book for me. Things don’t go as Billy had hoped nor how I expected things to go.
The Narration: Steve Rimpici was a really good fit for this book. He sounds just like a mild mannered boring accountant. He makes a really good William 790…. along with all the other Williams in this world. Honestly, it was probably a real challenge to come up with nuanced voices that all sound very similar and yet can remain distinct in a conversation. He did this with capturing each characters emotions. I found the conversations between multiple Williams easy to follow. He had a believable female voice for Willa.
What I Liked: The Cloneasaurus!; Billy finally rises to the occasion; Willa and her secret windmill laboratory; solid creepy ending; great narration.
What I Disliked: The beginning was a bit repetitious and boring; only 1 female character and all her potential is shoved to the side.
What Others Think: