The Echo Wife, by Sarah Gailey

Review copy provided by Tor Books.

I have read a lot of books about cloning, and how they deal with memory and identity varies a lot within their space, and this is one of those, this is within that space. I have also read a lot of thrillers about misogyny, and this is extremely different from the most of the rest of them. Genre overlap is wild.

Evelyn researches cloning and associated human development projects. Most of her work has been in making clones who are as like their originals as possible. Then she discovers that her husband–soon to be ex-husband–has been making a copy of her that only looks like her. The new version, Martine, is docile, agreeable, and very dependent.

And pretty quickly, Martine is in a heap of trouble. One of the things that The Echo Wife understands, that is incredibly real and yet I don’t see it in genre books very much if at all, is that sometimes people suffer consequences professionally because of someone else’s behavior. Sometimes you didn’t do anything wrong and you still have to manage fallout, because you’re in the shape of relationship where people will blame you for the other person. Evelyn is in just that situation, and the consequences ramify fast. Things get bloody. Things get urgent. Things get personal. Very, very personal. This book hits the notes of both thriller and SF and walks the line between them adeptly.

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