Review: Death of a Clone – Agatha Christie Meets Orphan Black (Sort of)

Death of a Clone

Title: Death of a Clone
Author: Alex Thomson
Publisher: Abaddon
Release Date: July 10th, 2018
Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Mystery
Page Count: 272 (paperback)

Rating: 6.5/10




Death of A Clone is set in a future where Earth has been depleted of metals and cloning has become viable. So teams of clones, supervised by Overseers, are sent out to various asteroids where they will mine, separate, and catalogue all the required metals. Our protagonist Leila, is one such clone, and she’s been working out on Mizushima-00109 (nicknamed “Hell”) alongside her brothers and sisters (who are also clones). Life is more or less routine for this little makeshift-family, until one day a clone is found murdered in a mine shaft. Now Leila is determined to put all her amateur detective skills to use and nail the culprit.

This was a solid, fast-paced, uncomplicated whodunit set in space. The story gives you very little preamble and throws you right into the thick of things, which was a nice change of pace from some of the long-winded books I’ve been reading recently.

Leila’s character is reminiscent Veronica Mars with her quirky sense of humour and “I’m going to solve this and none of you can stop me” attitude. Her narration is easy and enjoyable and I found her obsession with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories quite charming.

I did, however, find the worldbuilding and secondary characters rather shallow. With the former, I would have appreciated some more in-depth exploration into the situation back on Earth and how these clones came to be made. There’s also quite a bit of infodumping at the end where the villain goes through their typical “Now I shall reveal my masterplan” monologue, and the big reveal itself is a little abrupt and underwhelming.

Your enjoyment of this book really depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. Are you looking for a scifi that dives deep into the meaning of identity and the ethics of using cloned individuals as labourers? Yeah, you won’t find that here.

Are you looking for a quick novel-form of Clue set in outer space?

Well then, by golly, you got it!

Review copy provided by Netgalley and Abaddon


14 thoughts on “Review: Death of a Clone – Agatha Christie Meets Orphan Black (Sort of)

  1. thebookwormdrinketh says:

    Ha ha!! Clue in novel form with clones?? Who dun it in space?? Oh, I’m in. I don’t need every sci-fi to be deep and complicated… Actually, I would prefer they AREN’T ALL deep and complicated (although, that is good sometimes!) I’m definitely going to be checking this one out!!


  2. elnadesbookchat says:

    This sounds like a fun one. I always like mysteries set in space, and I don’t always need the moral issues explored. That sometimes takes the fun out of the book. Nice review, I will be adding this one to the TBR.


  3. sjhigbee says:

    Thank you for an informative, sympathetic review that gave me exactly what I need to know in order to make the decision to read this one. I’ll be adding it to my wishlist – like some of the others, I’m happy to read a straightforward space whodunit:)


  4. Vera says:

    I used to watch Veronica Mars a lot – her witty character always charmed me and I honestly loved watching her ‘let’s solve this’ attitude. That comparison piqued my interest, but ultimately, I would probably get a bit frustrated as moral issues being explored really are my thing… I’ll keep it in mind though, I’m a whimsical reader so who knows. 🙂 Great review.


  5. Susy's Cozy World says:

    I don’t think that I would read this one soon. Sci-fi isn’t my cup of tea, and even if I liked a lot what you wrote about the MC, the fact that the secondary characters are… not so well characterized didn’t sit so well with me. But never say never 🙂


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