Book Review - Beta by Rachel Cohn

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Beta – by Rachel Cohn
Publisher - Disney Hyperion
Expected Publication Date - October 16th 

Elysia wasn’t born – she emerged. She is a clone. Created without souls, without feelings, clones are designed to serve the idle rich residents of an island paradise called Desmesne. Clones are property. They are bought and sold; human in form but not truly human.

Elysia is a beta, the first of a new breed of clones emerged as teenagers instead of fully grown adults. Unlike the clones around her, Elysia has feelings -  intense at times - and begins to resent her complete lack of control over her life. She also has glimpses of the memories of her First, the young woman whose death enabled Elysia’s creation. Is she a Defect, doomed to be destroyed for her flaws? Are there others like her – clones who yearn to be free?

What I think: This is a book about taking back your power, even when it has been ripped away from you. It’s a book about the power of emotion, relationships, and passionate love. Watching Elysia discover herself, build and lose friendships, and figure out who she could trust was intriguing. The ending was rather abrupt. I guess as the first book in a series the cliffhanger will keep readers eager for the rest of the tale.

I was looking for more science in my science fiction, so this wasn’t my favorite read of my science fiction summer. The science concepts are there, though, and may intrigue readers enough to try to learn more about them. In spite of that, I can see that this book could entice readers who aren’t normally science fiction readers.

Age Levels – firmly young adult and up. Mature content includes drug use and sex, consensual and nonconsensual.

Science Concepts – genetics, cloning, climate change, terra forming

Historical Tie ins: Slavery, illegal immigration, sparking revolution, drug culture, class conflicts (especially considering the climate today of the 1% vs the 99%).

Wonders and What Ifs 
What does it mean to be human?
Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?
What is the reason for emotion? For logic? Is one more valuable that the other?

Narrator / Main Characters – Narrated by the female clone who graces the cover. 

Part of my
I read this book thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley, who provided me with an electronic advanced copy. 


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