September 02, 2013
Book Review: Project Cain.
Author: Geoffrey Girard.
Source: Author, Review Copy.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster.
Published Date: 9/3/2013.
Barnes and Noble.
"Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’.
There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.
When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?"
I don't have a final print of the book, I only received an ARC for review, so I'm not positive that the cover of the ARC is the same cover printed on the books hitting the shelves tomorrow! But I actually really like it. At first I didn't even realize that the reflection in the water isn't the same, until my mom pointed it out.
The cover does an amazing job of translating the story from words to pictures. The words are dark, mysterious and creepy, like the picture displayed on the front of the book.
I had no clue that this book was coming in the mail, until...well it came in the mail...
But it was really coincidental that the day before, I (very randomly) watched a documentary on Netflix about Jeffrey Dahmer's life before, during, and after the murders and his arrest! I found the entire thing scary and interesting, but it was definitely weird when I checked my mail the next day, and received an entire book that involved him and what he did.
Project Cain follows sixteen year old Jeff Jacobson and his discovery that his life is nothing what it seems to be. His dad is a scientist for the government, working under a company called DSTI, which specializes in cloning humans; including Jeff himself.
Jeff has lived, what seemed to be, a normal life; he enjoyed reading, he was home schooled, he took many trips with his dad, and loved talking to him about science. But back then, before everything came out, Jeff didn't realize the small inconspicuous things, he didn't know about the dead body in his dad's office, he didn't see the similarities between himself and Jeffrey Dahmer, and he didn't think too much of his memory loss from childhood.
Life for Jeff Jacobson seemed to be going pretty well, until his dad comes into his room one night, and confesses everything to him. He leaves Jeff alone in the house that used to be their home, with another cell phone number (besides the cell number he already had, and his work number) as well as a white envelope with a thousand dollars.
Unsure of what to do with himself, or where else he could go, Jeff starts searching the house for clues, for anything about him and the past. The first place he looked was the secret room, his dad used as an office. While doing some searching and finding things that will never allow Jeff to think of his father the same way again (I don't want to give away what those things are), he hears a noise coming from downstairs.
Within minutes the man causing the noise downstairs, finds Jeff hiding in his closet. The man's name is Castillo, and Jeff isn't really sure if Castillo is taking him for hostage, or is taking him with him, to find the other clones.
Castillo tells Jeff that last night twelve people were murdered and six students, as well as his father, were caught on surveillance cameras; the reason why Castillo was searching Jeff's house. Now the two of them are on the search for his dad and the six clones all over America! The pair follow leads from one state to the next, and while Jeff doesn't feel like he is much help, he might be the only one who can solve this and find them.
One of the many things that I really enjoyed was the cast of characters. I found them to be interesting and have substance. Each one of the boys mentioned, including Jeff, are clones created from the cells of America's most infamous serial killers. Not only did the reader get to learn a lot about those REAL serial killers, but in turn the characters as well.
Jeff is what seems to be a normal teenage guy, until he finds this out about himself. Before he never once considered the evil things that are running through his head. I found the struggle within himself interesting, he knew what he was and who he was, and that constantly reminded him, and caused him to have fear of murder.
Project Cain isn't like any average YA mystery thriller, and I learned that early on! The book discusses the topic of Nature vs. Nurture right from the beginning, and throughout the entire book. Overall I really enjoyed Project Cain and learned a lot. I can see where some people who claim "information dumping" to occur are coming from, but I didn't know much about serial killers, and liked learning about it.
There were two small things that did slow the story down a bit for me, and those were the constant driving and sitting in hotel rooms that Jeff and Castillo did during their search. I understand that there's a process, but I felt that the reader didn't need to go through the entire thing, but instead just a glimpse. The second thing, is that Jeff feels that he is useless when helping Castillo with the search! If Jeff is anything, he is the most important, he knows his dad, and he is the one who can most likely understand the clues that he left behind.
But overall Project Cain was suspenseful, mysterious, and a good read! I liked it!