Hero! by Dave Duncan

A military hero struggles with his identity as a clone when he’s caught between in a war between humans and the Brotherhood who created him.

Science fiction is not really my thing, but I do like to give it a try every now and again when I’m given an author or book recommendation.

Like much science fiction, Hero! is grounded first and foremost in ideas. Here, the main idea being teased out is whether or not a race of creatures has the right to protect its own survival at all costs. The Brotherhood is a race of clones, all male, born out of lab experiments that identified the 12 chromosomes best suited for survival and dominance. They cannot procreate in the traditional sense, but they’re quite aggressive about propagating the race. Main character Vaun’s inception remained secret to him until his teen years because of covert embryo implantations carried out by one of the leaders of the Brotherhood.

Vaun became a military hero and admiral after infiltrating and defeating a Brotherhood attack by working as a double agent. Now, it seems he’ll have to do it again. As loyal as he is to humanity, where he was raised, he can’t help but succumb to the draw of his Brothers, and this identity struggle forms the heart of the book. I found it quite intellectually stimulating as well as page-turningly suspenseful.

You’ll have to take my word for it that the cover is really, really awful.

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