The Girl Who Cloned Lightning

Lightning Brain Series (Book 4)

Romance - Contemporary
541 Pages
Reviewed on 03/29/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Girl Who Cloned Lightning is a work of fiction by author Cliff Ratza in the thriller, suspense, and drama subgenres and forms the fourth novel in the epic Lightning Brain Series of adventure romances. It is best suited to mature teen and adult readers. The adventure continues as the danger in cyberspace becomes even more life-threatening than the advent of terror in the real world. Co-existing with a split personality inside her head, Electra and Alisha develop a new way to battle the many paradoxes of their world. When Electra makes a brilliant discovery at the same time as surprising family histories are revealed, the stakes could not be higher, and the world may change forever in its wake.

Author Cliff Ratza has delivered an epic tale so far in this series, and every novel had me waiting with bated breath to see what the next surprise would be. I like that each part of the story has a distinct feel, and in this novel, the sense of technology, innovation, and the dangers of the cyber-world took pride of place as the dark central theme. But all of the elements that make Electra the suave, brilliant, and engaging heroine she is are still present, with added new layers of psychology after her experiences with Alisha that are brilliantly played and become integral and believable within the main plot. Overall, The Girl Who Cloned Lightning is a novel that adds yet more excitement and suspense to this thrilling series and I can’t wait to see how the final events of this plot play out!

Pikasho Deka

The Girl Who Cloned Lightning is the fourth book of the Lightning Brain Series by Cliff Ratza. After waking up off the coast of Japan and an unexpected run-in with the Yakuza, Electra Kittner is back in America and ready to assume her responsibilities. With her alter ego Alisha and the inner voice of her mother Indira by her side, Electra plunges into work toward creating clones of herself and attaining singularity through one of her software. But not everything is smooth sailing as she contracts the T-plague virus, and a short Hollywood stint as an actress yields mixed results. As she helps protect the nation from Middle East terrorism and cyber warfare, newer threats emerge in the form of China and Russia. With a right-wing government by her side, will Electra be able to protect American interests?

The Girl Who Cloned Lightning is a book for readers who love slow-burn storytelling. Cliff Ratza has created an immersive futuristic world rich in scope and inspired by real-world contemporary geopolitics of today. The book consists of multiple plot threads, all of which revolve around the character of Electra. The stakes are almost always high, and Ratza has a knack for making the reader feel the gravity and tension of a dramatic situation. As a reader, you get the feeling that there is an underlying narrative to every scene, and all the adventures that Electra finds herself in are part of the larger picture. This one is for all the sci-fi lovers out there.

Alex Ndirangu

Cliff Ratza's The Girl Who Cloned Lightning is the fourth installment in the thrilling, action-packed Lightning Brain Series. Electra's extraordinary abilities have put her on the front lines whenever humanity is faced with life-threatening catastrophes in the 22nd century. She assists the American government in combating terrorism and a lethal virus called the T-Plague that has decimated the world's population and caused widespread panic. But her race to improve the world is still far from over. Terrorism has bounced back, maybe even stronger than before, as terrorists from three continents partner in a quest for dominance. China, Russia, and Africa have teamed up and are taking a new approach to upending the world order. To keep the authorities confused, they have all gone dark. The group is now launching rounds of cyberattacks that are not only crippling the stock market but also causing malfunctioning revolving doors, elevators, and escalators, trapping and injuring occupants. Even worse, the T-virus has mutated and infected Electra's split personality, Alisha. She must move fast to find a cure before tackling her new enemies.

Creating a futuristic fantasy world that enables us to reflect on how people interact with each other, with technology, and with our environment is challenging. Cliff Ratza has accomplished building a world where we can suspend disbelief as events and characters complement each other on a foundation of realism. The characters are all well-developed and it is impossible not to choose your favorites. Some of the characters, however, were not my favorite, such as the annoying Jennifer. I felt like I could dive in and give her the scolding of a lifetime for not seeing her newborn baby as a blessing. It is a sign of a good book when you feel yourself actively disliking someone as if they are real! The plot is an enticing avalanche of one revelation after another, and the shifting points of view give us a chance to plunge into the different characters' innermost thoughts and emotions. Ratza's manipulation of the flashback technique enables him to break up the chronological flow of the story, making it more exciting and realistic. This relatively fast-paced story and action scenes and the well-developed suspense will leave you on the edge of your seat from page one. I recommend The Girl Who Cloned Lightning to anyone looking for a thriller or seeking a series with the perfect mix of drama and adventure in future worlds.

Asher Syed

The Girl Who Cloned Lightning: Lightning Brain Series Book Four by Cliff Ratza brings Electra and her alter-ego Alisha back, resolving a major dangling carrot that Ratza left us with at the end of book three, The Girl Who Commanded Lightning. Technology-driven terrorism and the plague that will not go away, no matter how many vaccines and antidotes Electra and her lightning brain create, has now mutated and is transmittable through sex. On the plus side, Alisha is a rising star, and her fame that comes from a successful show she stars in shoots her even higher. Electra is also in the public eye but in the political realm...with a clone that she says is her adopted daughter. Family is a new central theme because Electra's maternal care for Ariadne coincides with members of Electra's biological family she unexpectedly comes in contact with. And as is the case with most families, drama follows.

The Girl Who Cloned Lightning by Cliff Ratza makes the country I was born and raised in one of the “Significant Minor Players aligned with China/Russia,” China and Russia being the naughty boys, and thankfully for the story I was not fully aware until over 300 pages in. I'd personally like to speak with Carter to discuss some of the points I think he's wrong about, but first I want to finish the series. Rather, I need to finish the series because I'm addicted to it. Ratza puts me in a difficult place but Electra, Alisha, and little Ariadne, who grows before our very hands turning the pages, give me a reason to keep going. The Quavah “Great Game” for the New World Order theory will have to wait. The writing is tight and the characters continue to be compelling. There is a lot more plotting that weaves through multiple storylines that can sometimes overwhelm, but they are done well enough so that they never confuse. The relationship between Electra and Ariadne is the best of all the plots because there's a tenderness that Electra morphs into that we've not seen in her before. Book four has a lot of moving parts. I liked all of them, and look forward to the next installment.

Jamie Michele

The Girl Who Cloned Lightning by Cliff Ratza is a science fiction superhero novel and the fourth book in the Lightning Brain Series, preceded by The Girl With the Lightning Brain, The Girl Who Electrified the World, and The Girl Who Commanded Lightning. The main character Electra Kittner continues to face off with the constant presence and threat of global terrorism, especially control over worldwide cyberspace, and a new mutated strain of the T-Plague. Electra is able to create a clone named Ariande, opening up an avenue for the series to off-shoot and/or carry forward with or without Electra. Electra is raising Ariande as a single parent by keeping Alisha, Electra's second personality, outside the mothering space. When Alisha is brought forward, it is in pursuit of her own acting dreams, with which she has made great strides.

There's lots and lots of things to unpack, having just finished Cliff Ratza's The Girl Who Cloned Lightening. I've been on Electra Kittner's journey since book one and while I greatly enjoy her singular storyline, the promise that Ariande brings with the potential for a wider Lightning Brain franchise is exciting. For some reason I didn't care much for Alisha in this book and I can't put my finger on the pulse of why that is. My best guess is that I cannot see myself having her as a friend in real life and Electra is a character I'd want in my life forever. Electra wouldn't have time for me, given the problems that arise with her friends and some surprise characters that Ratza brings in. There's also the rising tension with the formulation of a new Axis-style club of countries that Electra has to crack on with to save the world. As always, Ratza gives us a novel that is impossible to put down. Very highly recommended.