The Clone Sedition
by Steven L. Kent
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Ace Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425258187
Date: 30 October 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
"Everything that can be programmed can be reprogrammed." This is the message that Freeman has for Wayson Harris. The truth of this axiom is proved, but the perpetrators don't realize that Liberators have very little programming compared to other clones. They need to find another way to get Harris to do their bidding. They choose to use the oldest form of conditioning.
The action opens with a late night series of attacks by religious zealots with ties to the survivors from Olympus Kri being held on Mars Station. These attacks leave the clones with a question. Why are they attacking in such an ineffective way? The truth comes out, and reveals a deeper plot.
The plot leaves control of Mars Station in doubt. The clones need to move on Mars to find out what is happening. Once there, the trap is sprung. Wayson sees that his people are in jeopardy and needs to find a way to save them.
The adventures of Wayson Harris and the clones were over -- until a contract for more stories was offered. The last Liberator clone survived alien invasions, betrayal, and the start of an empire. In the next set of adventures, the Clone Empire must overcome an old enemy that forces the clones to turn on themselves.
This is the eighth Clone novel. Even though it is late in the series, it is a good entry point into the series. The older storylines were tied off in The Clone Redemption. Author Kent had planned to end the story with the triumph of the Clone Empire and the humans over the alien invaders. But he was offered a new contract to continue the adventures of the clones.
This is a pretty standard military science fiction novel. There is a lot of action and the body count is high. It compares well with the Star Fist series by David Sherman and Dan Cragg, the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell, and several series by Ian Douglas.
I was ready for the end of the last series. I was never completely satisfied with the Avatari as an enemy. The Clone Sedition takes the action back to its roots with humans fighting clones. Although there isn't a conclusive ending, the setup is better than the later clone novels. The human-clone dynamic is clearer and easier to follow, even if the current leaders of the UA remnant are left in hiding.