Review by Karl Verhoven
Third Generation concluded on quite the bombshell, and the dust settles in the opening pages here. As the volume starts the clones have been tracked down by hostile government forces, and escape is necessary. Fortunately there is an option, but with conditions attached. To this point Luke Taylor has been the beacon of virtue, but he’s presented with a couple of quandries here that test his resolve and moral fortitude.
Few of the clones have been individually identified. Of that small group Eric has his demons to deal with, but remains part of the cast despite selecting a separate destiny, Gamma moves well beyond his comfort zone, and Colin comes to the fore. He’s lived a life, but is now a genial paramedic whose experience is required. This is disclosed in an excellent nail-biting sequence in which two conversations are inter-cut, one concerning saving a life, the other discussing ending one.
Actually, nail-biting just about serves throughout. Co-writers David Schulner, Aaron Ginsburg and Wade McIntyre are ingenious in their use of a character who appeared to have outlived their purpose in the previous book, while the tricky decisions keep coming for the remainder of the cast. The political elements are all-but forgotten here, but the public revelation of the clones has ensured a wider opposition, and it’s extremely dangerous.
Once again Juan José Ryp excels at drawing not only dozens of clones, but intensely detailed landscapes for them to inhabit. Without giving too much away, in this volume, as in the last, he is also provided with some variety to illustrate.
Sadly, this is the final volume of Clone for the time being, and the conclusion to Fourth Generation raises far more questions than it answers. Sales didn’t sustain the time expended, although there is some hope of a TV production at which point the series would be revived.
As the story is incomplete, is it worth your while bothering with Clone at all? Definitely. Consider the ending here as that of a TV series end of season finale, and relish the goodness provided to date.