Review: 7th Son Descent, by J.C. Hutchins

I had heard about this one via various podcasts, but I didn’t read it until I could download it onto my Kindle.

Honestly, I mostly checked this out because J.C. Hutchins is something of a legend in the SFF podcast community, but I was very pleased by it. He grabbed me with the opening and just kept pulling. FWIW, the book starts with “The president of the United States is dead. He was murdered in the morning sunlight by a four-year-old boy.”

Yeah, POW!

It’s a novel about cloning and other related technologies, and while the science is a stretch in places, it makes it clear that the process is hard – or at least started that way. The basic premise is that some time back, a man was cloned seven times, and the clones were never told. They’re all off living separate lives now, but after the assassination of the President, it’s time to bring them all home. Why? Well, that’s getting into the meat of the story, so I’ll leave that to the reader.

By and large, it was pretty good. The exposition and back-story sections were handled well, revealing a lot about the characters as they react to the facts. The pacing was good, and the ultimate climax was satisfying.

I had only two complaints. First, one of the characters is quite the nut-job, and I got pretty tired of him very early in the book. Certainly, there’s no requirement to like all the characters in a book, but he was sufficiently annoying that I was tempted to merely skim his sections.

My second complaint was that the book ends on something of a cliffhanger. Now, it’s not quite an I-am-Locutus-of-Borg cliffhanger — more of an Empire Strikes Back cliffhanger. Why is that a complaint? Well, there are two more books to resolve the cliffhanger, but they currently only exist in podcast form, and with my hearing issues, that’s a non-starter.

Mr. Hutchins assures me that he’s getting the next two out in e-book form “later this year”. That was in November. Tick-Tock, Mr. Hutchins.