Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be.
And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.
Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and the Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up.
Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty
When they said all happy families are alike, this can’t be what they meant..
Title: The Echo Wife |Publisher: Tor | Pub. Date: 16 February 2021 | Pages: 347 | ISBN: 9781250174666| Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Source: Received a copy from NetGalley | Unstarred Review
The Echo Wife Review
I loved the concept, although the description is a little misleading. A brilliant scientist develops human cloning, and her ex-husband steals the technology in order to create a better version Evelyn, his career driven wife and our strong-willed protagonist. Enter Martine, the Stepford version of Evelyn. Then, the bastard dies. Actually, I wish they had left this off the back cover description because the death came as welcome jolt to the plot. If I hadn’t seen it coming, I’d have been pleasantly mortified.
Evelyn isn’t a likeable character, which is perfectly fine. Readers don’t have to like characters to connect with them or enjoy a story. She is cold and terse, and while she has her reasons and there is an attempt to thaw her ice heart, it never goes beyond a surface level try. This benefits the story, because it gets the reader to wonder, who are the monsters in this book? Some are obvious. Others aren’t.
The first act sets a nice pace which dwindles to a halt mid-book. There is a lot of repetitive information being conveyed through Evelyn’s point-of-view. She describes her marriage, her work, her relationship with her lab assistant Seyed, and her relationship with her parents in great detail several times. The book is set up to jump between past and present. At first, I welcomed this ebb and flow. Later, it slowed the action.
Luckily, the action picked up during the climax, and the book ended strong; however, there are some concerns with believing the plot. There’s a key discovery at the end of the book that seemed made me wonder, “Wouldn’t they have found this out in much earlier?”
While the book started strong, and ends with intrigue, the middle waivers. Some will like this book. Other’s won’t. I recommend reading it and seeing which side you land on.
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