Posts Tagged With: lexi revellian

Replica by Lexi Revellian

Title: Replica
Author: Lexi Revellian
ISBN: 978-0956642240
Publisher: Hoxton Press
First Published: June 2011
No .of pages: 290

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis (from Fantastic Fiction):
Beth Chandler, bright, attractive but unassertive, is accidentally replicated in a flawed experiment at the government research institute where she works. A second Beth comes into being, complete with all her memories. To Sir Peter Ellis, MI5 chief, the replica is an embarrassment that must be hushed up and disposed of. Overhearing him, Beth Two goes on the run. With no official existence, homeless, penniless and pursued by Sir Peter’s agents, she has to find the inner strength and aggression to survive on icy London streets. Meanwhile the original Beth, unaware of what has happened, becomes romantically involved with Nick Cavanagh, the spec op she believes is there to protect her. In fact, he’s hunting her double. Nick refuses to face his moral doubts about Beth Two – as far as he’s concerned, it’s not his problem. As events unfold, and the situation grows more complicated, he has to decide whose side he is on.

Two years ago, I read and reviewed an earlier novel by Lexi Revellian called Remix. I loved it, so when I was offered the chance to review a second novel, Replica, I jumped at it.

I wasn’t disappointed!

Plunging straight into the action seems to be something of a Revellian trait, as Replica doesn’t hang around. By page 8, major events have already occurred and we’re having to deal with the aftermath of some pretty earth-shattering revelations very soon afterwards. Suspension of disbelief can be a major hang-up of mine if the subject matter isn’t handled well, but Lexi is a real pro – with everyone aware of science’s progress with cloning the notion of replication is an unnervingly real prospect, and the lack of overly scientific jargon to explain everything away (which might have hampered proceedings, making them seem contrived and unrealistic while bogging the reader down in “facts” they do not need) adds to that sense of realism – we just accept it as a matter of fact and run with it.

The writing is ludicrously easy to read – honestly, I have very rarely come across a writer whose words seem so effortless to read and it’s a real joy to get into the story and characters so quickly it feels like one has known them for years. Even with two Beths who start out essentially the same person, but through their very different experiences after the replication, rapidly become completely separate and instantly recognisable, it never becomes even remotely confusing – one is always acutely aware of who is who.

In the hands of a lesser writer, this could have been a real mess, but Revellian takes a nifty idea and writes it so neatly that when we reach the shocking conclusion, there are aspects which one honestly didn’t see coming, but afterwards one realises it couldn’t have happened any other way.

On the back of enjoying this novel (and the previous one) so much, I can hardly wait to read Ice Diaries!

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

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Remix by Lexi Revellian

Caz Tallis has a great life living in her dream flat in London and loving her job making and restoring rocking horses.  So when a handsome stranger turns up on her balcony she is surprised to say the least.  Particularly when the stranger turns out to be rock star Ric Kealey – who died three years ago when he was accused of the murder of his bandmate.  After Ric’s ‘death’ the murder investigation was closed.  But now Ric wants to prove his innocence, and Caz gets drawn into helping him.

Cas finds herself drawn to Ric, but as their enquiries progress, she starts to wonder how much she really knows him – and suddenly she doesn’t know what the truth is, or who she can trust…

This was a great story, combining an intriguing mystery with a budding romance.  The story unfolded at exactly the right pace, and I genuinely had no idea how it would end up.  I was able to empathise with Caz’s feelings towards Ric – he was charismatic and attractive, but could also be selfish and irritating.

The story is narrated by Caz, and she’s a great character – easy to identify with, and with a great sense of humour.  The story twists and turns as she tries to sort out the lies from the truth.

There are a few other characters who flesh out the story – Ric’s solictor and manager Phil, who may or may not be trustworthy; his outrageous and unpredictable former bandmate Jeff Pike; Caz’s best friend James; and Phil’s girlfriend Emma.

Overall, this is a very entertaining and fun read, with a genuinely unpredictable ending – I would certainly recommend it, and hope to read more by this author.


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