Seven clones created by a top-secret government program attempt to stop their evil progenitor’s insane plans—first of a trilogy developed from a popular podcast.
Following the inexplicable assassination of the U.S. president by a four-year-old boy, shadowy government agents round up seven men. They find that they have many things in common: appearance, memories up to age 14, names (all some variation on “John Michael Smith”). At first incredulous and outraged, the seven eventually get the idea and begin to cooperate with one another and with the project’s sponsors, Dr. Kenneth Kleinman and Brigadier General Orlando Hill. Alpha, their progenitor, they learn, has gone rogue; what’s worse, Alpha stole technology enabling him to copy and download minds into another’s brain, either replacing the original personality entirely or dominating it so that the original’s memories are still available. Eventually it becomes clear that the child assassin was actually carrying a copy of Alpha’s mind. But what did Alpha hope to gain by slaying the president? And why does he keep leaving cryptic messages challenging the seven, in effect, to stop him?
For the teenager/conspiracy-theory audience, some good ideas and plenty of action. For more wary, reflective readers, preposterous twaddle.