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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The year is 2029 and although it is still illegal to clone humans, this didn’t stop a dedicated band of scientists from doing so some years ago and continuing to create and protect several growing communities of clones. Scientists at Wyndall Life Sciences Centre are at the cutting edge of gene technology and are world renowned for their contribution to human advancement and the fight against disease. But this has always been a front for their real purpose; creating a population of clones to eventually integrate with humans – the next evolutionary step. This is the scenario presented to us by V.J. Deanes in Dawn of Affinity. There are small rural communities across the country that have become the cradles for these clones. Hadley Crossing is one such community. Kalan Mars discovers that not only does he have an exact double somewhere in the country, but that he, himself, may be a clone. When the Society for the Elimination of Artificial People (SEAP) seeks out Kalan to eliminate him, he finds himself on the run for his very life.
This is the second book I’ve read recently that looks at the merging of humanity with Artificial Intelligence and asks the big moral question; is this playing God? Is it right? Dawn of Affinity by V.J. Deanes is an interesting glimpse at what the future might hold. Despite many forms of gene manipulation being considered to be unethical and illegal, are we being naive in assuming it is not happening? I found the story of Kalan and the dilemma he faced -- was he a clone or was he human? -- to be very compelling. Deanes also made the reader look at the possible consequences of the public knowledge of this cloning and what it might mean to the general population, which I felt was very useful. The idea that clones could one day fully integrate into society and, in fact, were the next evolutionary step to creating smarter, more advanced and more adaptable humans was also clever. As a thriller, the story also did its job as the characters sought to uncover the truth about the work at the Wyndall Life Sciences Centre. Dawn of Affinity is a good read and well worth the time.