A compelling novel of a girl created to "replace" another in the event of her death.
She has always known that she is an "echo," stitched by the Weavers from bits of a girl called Amarra to step into her place should her original die. Though Amarra lives half a world away, in Bangalore, her echo has grown up in her shadow. She has a clutch of guardians who work for the Loom, keeping her safe and grooming her for the day she might be needed. They also love her and allow her small rebellions, like the name—Eva—she chooses for herself. But she is forbidden to read Frankenstein. Being an echo is dangerous, even where they are legal; many regard them as soulless monsters, and some even hunt them to death. And if her original's family decides they do not want her, she is subject to a Sleep Order: "unstitching." Mandanna sets Eva's story in present-day England and India, a deliberately and effectively jarring choice. She keeps the Loom's technology a mystery, indicating its workings through glimpses and never using the prosaic "clone," and focuses on Eva's experience. Both an interrogation of bioethics and a mesmerizing quest for identity, this debut succeeds through its careful development of the oh-so-human Eva and those around her.
A provocative and page-turning thriller/romance that gets at the heart of what it means to be human. (Science fiction. 13 & up)