Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

Narrator: Steve Rimpici

Publisher: Stephen Kozeniewski (2017)

Length: 4 hours 59 minutes

Author’s Page 

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: 

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Trista Borgwardt

Guest Post: Christmas Wrapping the Cat by Stephen Kozeniewski

KozeniewskiBraineaterJonesDabbers, please welcome Stephen Kozeniewski back to the blog, author of Braineater Jones, a zombie mystery noir with more than one twist. You can catch my review of Braineater Jones over HERE and my interview with Stephen over HERE. Today Stephen is here to share some very funny, and perhaps incriminating, pictures of his cats. Oh, and yes, we will try to talk about his books a little too.

I was in charge of Christmas wrapping the cat….and other impossible feats by Stephen Kozeniewski

Anyone who knows me even slightly knows of my immense love of cats. Specifically my two cats, Nibbler and Felix.

KozeniewskiCats1
An Eternal Love

In fact, my Facebook profile photo is of me and Nibbler right now. Nibbler is just over one year old and still in her cute stage. This is somewhat offset by also still being in her “pooping outside the box” stage, but I digress.

Felix just turned ten, so for the vast majority of his life, he was an only fur-child, and was treated as such (and grew used to such treatment.) In fact we largely justified the second cat because we felt like he needed a playmate.

And why did our dear, beloved feline need a playmate? Well, true enough that my wife and I both work, so Felix was spending eight hours or so a day finding things to knock off of shelves instead of cuddling with his owners. So part of it was to keep him from getting bored (read: destructive.) But a second, and perhaps larger segment of this concern was the entire 22 lbs of his bulk.

More Of Me To Love
More Of Me To Love

Yes, our dear, sweet Felix is larger than most cats. And dogs. And some of the sportier European sedans. We hoped a second cat would encourage him to exercise a bit. You can imagine, I suppose, what it’s like trying to get a cat the size of a car tire to do something he doesn’t want to do.

Nevertheless, three or four times a year we go through the futile exercise of trying to dress him up for various holidays. Most times we manage to furtively jam a costume onto him and take pictures until one, usually by accident, turns out.

Rudolph was the hap-hap-happiest reindeer.
Rudolph was the hap-hap-happiest reindeer.

I think when Susan asked me to write this guest post about “Christmas wrapping the cat” she meant it as a metaphor. You know, like “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” or “the better angels of our nature.” Little did she realize, I suppose, that I actually DO have to Christmas wrap the cat every year.

Last year was the worst. I got a wild hair up my ass that we should have a professional photo done for the Christmas card. I take 100% responsibility for this one. The problem is that Felix does not care for other human beings. Not a one of them. And you remember what I said about trying to get 1 ½ stones of cat to do what he doesn’t want to do.

Literally, all we had to do was get Felix to sit still for long enough to get one decent picture. My wife and I were dressed up, and we decided to eschew the entire reindeer costume in favor of just the jingle bell collar, hoping it would calm him.

It did not. He did not care to sit still for even a portion of a second as our photographer friend attempted to take picture after picture.

At 220 lbs (according to my driver’s license) I should, theoretically be able to calm a cat 1/10th my size. Not so. In fact, in the following photo, you can see how badly he shredded up my hand:

Photo Credit: George Griffo (https://www.facebook.com/griffography)
Photo Credit: George Griffo (https://www.facebook.com/griffography)

KozeniewskiBillyAndThenCloneasaurusSo, yes, sadly, for me Christmas wrapping the cat is not a metaphor, but, in fact, an annual chore that results in holiday cheers of pain and colorful ribbons of blood, usually my own. Thanks to Susan for having me and I hope you’ll all check out my newest novel, BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS, which somehow I haven’t managed to mention this entire post, so I’ll just jam it in here at the end.

Stephen – thank you so much for stopping by the blog and sharing your fat, ornery cat story!

Places to Stalk Stephen Kozeniewski

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