Title: Swans and Klons
Editor: Nora Olsen
Format: egalley edition
Pub. Date: May 14th 2013
Source: NetGalley & Bold Strokes Books, Inc.
In the future of the planet Earth, there is no longer a need for males. No longer are women subjected to the disgusting man creatures, and they don't have to go through the awful, painful, barbaric ritual of child birth. There are only women, chosen to be descendants of 300 superior females, and only from those 300. And then there are the Klons- the lesser minded, not-quite-humans that serve the Society and do the jobs that no one else wants to, like cleaning and driving. Light on rules and fairly peaceful, Rubric wasn't one to question the ways of Society, until together with her girlfriend, Salmon Jo, they uncover a disturbing truth- Klons may not be different from humans at all. The girls must decide where they stand, what they will risk, and how to unravel the knitted lies that they have been fed all of their lives.
I have to say, I'm quite impressed by this book. It falls in two of my favorite book genres- dystopian and LGBT. Though this book isn't without faults, I would definitely recommend it.
+ I love the combination of blending the two aforementioned themes. I am a huge fan of dystopian fiction, and this is the first book I have ever encountered with such a strong queer theme. It gave the novel a very unique plot line, and will make it stand out in my mind.
+Because of the lesbian motif of Swans and Klons, I found it more relatable than most other books of the same genre. I was able to more vividly experience Rubric's emotions- from love to separation and grief- since they were emotions directed at a female. I often thought of my own girlfriend and myself in their place. Like Salmon Jo and Rubric, one of us is very practical and no nonsense, and the other is artistic and almost too imaginative.... I won't divulge which of us is which!
+As with other dystopian novels, I like this book because it was disturbing. Books with futures that are almost utopias scare me more than horror books ever could, and this one was no exception. The unique twist of genetically identical people being created only to be slaves is creepy, at the very least, though I mean it in the best way possible.
-My faults with the book were few, but still hindered my reading experience. The first was the lack of romance and affection between Salmon Jo and Rubric. Often times they seemed blatantly cold and plastic towards one another. I wish there would have been more sweetness, so that I could dive deeper emotionally into the plot.
-The only other problem that I had with this book was a few word redundancies that got old really quick. The words "thicko" and "veruckt" were used with an alarming abundance. I'd definitely switch up those words now and then.
I sincerely hope that Swans and Klons is the first book in a series, or at least a two-parter. Nora Olsen has made a new fan in me with her new, queer-friendly take on dystopian fiction. Fans of books such as Beta or Uglies should check this book out. If gay themes or relationships offend you, than this is NOT a book for you!
Thank you to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books, Inc. for my e-copy.