Friday, March 11, 2016

Criminal Destiny by Gordon Korman, 2016

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The clones of Project Osiris are free—but they’re being hunted. . . . After their narrow escape from their “perfect” hometown, Eli, Tori, Amber, and Malik are finally in the real world and determined to expose the leaders of Serenity. They decide to track down Tamara Dunleavy, the mysterious billionaire and founder of Project Osiris. Evading capture by breaking laws and sneaking into houses, hotels, buses, and cars—are they becoming the criminals they were destined to be?
What they discover will change everything, leading them straight into the Plastic Works and the heart of the experiment, in order to uncover the deadly criminals they’re cloned from—and any evidence that will convince the outside world to believe the truth. But the outside world isn’t exactly what they expected—strangers aren’t just unfriendly, they’re dangerous. And the wrong move could send them right back into the arms of Dr. Hammerstrom—and trapped in Serenity for good.
On a breakneck journey from Jackson Hole to a maximum security prison—Eli, Tori, Amber, and Malik will stop at nothing to take Project Osiris down.

(320 pages)

Anyone who's been following my reviews for a while knows that I really loved Masterminds. When I found out that the sequel was coming out, I was so excited to see what would happen next! I went to Barnes & Noble the week it came out, and snagged my very own bright, shiny copy.

Needless to say, it did not survive the night. I didn't name my blog "Read Till Dawn" because I have a real abundance of self-control.

And honestly, I am glad I bought a copy of Criminal Destiny, but I'm slightly disappointed in it. And I don't think this is really the book's fault - it's more mine, for having read so many other "on-the-run" books over the years. Stealing cars, crashing in strangers' houses, worrying about the ethics of crimes you do while on the run . . . it all sounds very familiar, and that's because Gordon Korman himself actually has a series (literally called "On the Run") that incorporates a lot of those same elements. I'm not saying that Korman is out of things to write about or consciously copying himself, but with the basic premise of the story he had to include a lot of scenes about being on the run and after a six-book series he really hadn't left himself much unused material to tap into.

The characters don't make a huge amount of progress in regards to their conundrum, but they're certainly trying. I like that they're actively doing their very best to not just stay away from Project Osiris, but to also find a way to permanent safety. Watching them fumble their way through modern, normal cities is also a lot of fun - I never get tired of reading about people discovering things like skyscrapers for the first time.

My biggest attraction to these books, however, is the premise: that the kids are cloned from some of the worst criminals alive. The news hit them like a sledgehammer towards the end of the last book, but it isn't until now - with limitless wifi access - that they truly begin to explore all of the details of their crazy beginnings. They also have a disturbing notion that they're not actually human, because they don't have two biological parents. It's actually kind of heartbreaking, and I really hope that someone comforts them and explains things in the third book.

Because there is going to be a third book, right? Right?!

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