SWANS & KLONS by Nora Olsen


Age Range: 13 - 17
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In an idyllic all-female future, Rubric and Salmon Jo’s luxurious life is disrupted by their Utopia’s dark side.

Ever since a chromosomal problem created the Cretinous Male, distasteful things like sexual reproduction and pregnancies were replaced by hatcheries and the genetics of 300 exemplary women—300 Jeepie Types, “Jeepie” referring to “Genotype Phenotype.” Young girls won’t encounter their Jeepie Similars (sharing a Jeepie Type) until they mature, and they rarely encounter Jeepie Similar Klons. Despite sharing Jeepie Types with humans, Klons are regarded as a different species, altered to be better suited to unpleasant labors. The exposition lacks grace as Olsen rushes to the plot, but then it rumbles along. When Rubric’s girlfriend, Salmon Jo, is assigned to the Hatchery where Klons and humans alike are decanted, her scientific curiosity uncovers their society’s big lie. Knowledge endangers them. Rubric’s plan to reveal the truth brings her to her Jeepie Similar Klon, Dream. They help Dream escape Society to freedom in the Land of the Barbarous Ones. Salmon Jo takes to life outside better than Rubric, who yearns for art over labor and wants to fight Society’s injustice. She and Dream return on a mission of liberation; disappointingly, the mission’s escalating stakes end in a cop-out.

Although aimed at LGBT readers and despite its unevenness, philosophical dystopia fans of all orientations will find much to appreciate in this story that tackles big ideas. (Dystopian adventure. 13-17)

Pub Date: May 14th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60282-874-2
Page count: 170pp
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013


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