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Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath

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High school genius and sociopath Vince Nilsson is obsessed with Melissa Price. So when she rejects him after a few dates, he devises the perfect plan—manipulate her genes to make an even better version of her . . . one who’s more receptive to him. Of course, he’ll have to kill the real Melissa first. But is it really murder if the person still exists? As he continues to “p High school genius and sociopath Vince Nilsson is obsessed with Melissa Price. So when she rejects him after a few dates, he devises the perfect plan—manipulate her genes to make an even better version of her . . . one who’s more receptive to him. Of course, he’ll have to kill the real Melissa first. But is it really murder if the person still exists? As he continues to “perfect” Melissa, he realizes he can change the world, one gene at a time. Before long, Vince is an underground celebrity, and his company, Emergence, Inc., is in high demand with spouses wishing to replace their better halves with improved clones and parents desiring healthy children. But the pursuit of perfection has ramifications. Now, decades later, when a body mysteriously shows up at young Leo Oaks’ door, it’s up to him and his girlfriend, Sara Hawking, to unravel the enigmas of a new world where authenticity is ambiguous and no one is who they seem. As the two grow closer, they begin to discover secrets about their own pasts. And just how entwined their lives are with Emergence, Inc. . . . A thought-provoking and vividly imagined techno-thriller set in the not-so-distant future, Bodies examines the price of idealism in this riveting page-turner. For fans of Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King, and the film American Psycho. “A thrilling and gruesome slice of techno fiction. From a twisted high school experiment to a globe-spanning crisis that threatens to topple royal empires, this futuristic thriller is unforgettable. Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath is a provocative and potentially controversial read that shines a disturbing light on the dangers of superficiality, gender dynamics, and our modern obsession with perfection, in a twisted techno tale of lust and power.”—SPR “Original.”—IndieReader ***** WARNING: This novel isn’t for everyone. It contains graphic content, gruesome scenes, explicit language, violence, and other mature themes. If you are a sensitive reader, please do NOT read this novel. Only read at your own discretion.


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High school genius and sociopath Vince Nilsson is obsessed with Melissa Price. So when she rejects him after a few dates, he devises the perfect plan—manipulate her genes to make an even better version of her . . . one who’s more receptive to him. Of course, he’ll have to kill the real Melissa first. But is it really murder if the person still exists? As he continues to “p High school genius and sociopath Vince Nilsson is obsessed with Melissa Price. So when she rejects him after a few dates, he devises the perfect plan—manipulate her genes to make an even better version of her . . . one who’s more receptive to him. Of course, he’ll have to kill the real Melissa first. But is it really murder if the person still exists? As he continues to “perfect” Melissa, he realizes he can change the world, one gene at a time. Before long, Vince is an underground celebrity, and his company, Emergence, Inc., is in high demand with spouses wishing to replace their better halves with improved clones and parents desiring healthy children. But the pursuit of perfection has ramifications. Now, decades later, when a body mysteriously shows up at young Leo Oaks’ door, it’s up to him and his girlfriend, Sara Hawking, to unravel the enigmas of a new world where authenticity is ambiguous and no one is who they seem. As the two grow closer, they begin to discover secrets about their own pasts. And just how entwined their lives are with Emergence, Inc. . . . A thought-provoking and vividly imagined techno-thriller set in the not-so-distant future, Bodies examines the price of idealism in this riveting page-turner. For fans of Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King, and the film American Psycho. “A thrilling and gruesome slice of techno fiction. From a twisted high school experiment to a globe-spanning crisis that threatens to topple royal empires, this futuristic thriller is unforgettable. Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath is a provocative and potentially controversial read that shines a disturbing light on the dangers of superficiality, gender dynamics, and our modern obsession with perfection, in a twisted techno tale of lust and power.”—SPR “Original.”—IndieReader ***** WARNING: This novel isn’t for everyone. It contains graphic content, gruesome scenes, explicit language, violence, and other mature themes. If you are a sensitive reader, please do NOT read this novel. Only read at your own discretion.

30 review for Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sofie |

    TW: literally everything. graphic r*pe, murder, misogyny, mental illness, graphic s*icide, school shooting. Thank you NetGalley for the review… even though I’m pretty sure the is self-published and the author approved everyone who requested this book. Also... spoilers I guess, in case somehow you still want to read this novel. ooooh baby get ready for a ~rant review~ This book is a misogynist's wet dream. Truly. I could feel the visceral hatred of women on every. page. This novel is told like some so TW: literally everything. graphic r*pe, murder, misogyny, mental illness, graphic s*icide, school shooting. Thank you NetGalley for the review… even though I’m pretty sure the is self-published and the author approved everyone who requested this book. Also... spoilers I guess, in case somehow you still want to read this novel. ooooh baby get ready for a ~rant review~ This book is a misogynist's wet dream. Truly. I could feel the visceral hatred of women on every. page. This novel is told like some sort of bloody sci-fi version of Love, Actually, except these individual stories just… never come together. The puzzle pieces of Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath simply do not fit. One character has his chapters told in first person, and everyone else has theirs in third person, except half the time Mikheyev just randomly switches whose perspective the chapter is supposed to be following. Honestly, this book could have been so freaking good. We could have had an exciting, black-mirror-esqe sci-fi thriller with themes morality, purpose, mental illness in the age of advanced technology; we could have had conversations about the literal joke that is the “American Dream”, about rampant conservatism in America, about the way the top 1% have our politicians in their gucci-lined pockets. The novel could have even delved into some questions about what it means to be human, questions we might have to start asking ourselves for real very soon, with the advancement of technology, AI, human genome testing, ect. Instead we get a sex crazed, turtle-paced book with just a hint of political intrigue that goes literally nowhere and a crap load of thinly-veiled misogyny. Nearly every guy in the book wants to r*pe or kill women, almost every girl in the book thinks other girls are “sluts” and “bitches” and “wh0res” and “c*nts”. And for a book so filled with needless sex (AMONG MINORS) we hardly get any sex scenes about female pleasure. There were issues plot wise, too. For instance, clones are a part of every day life but when a man - one actively involved in assassinating and replacing people - gets a call from his dead wife, his first assumption is that he’s died and gone to heaven? And not that someone had cloned her? What?? Or when Sara, in one chapter, is surprised when he mom tells her her dad used to be a romantic - “What? Daddy was once a romantic?" Sarah had asked her mother, surprised. [68] and then 10 pages later, cried to her boyfriend Leo - "Mom and dad were perfect. They were perfect up until last year. It’s like something happened. Dad just… I don’t know. He changed. He used to be so sweet and romantic and tender.” [81] Like, huh??? So did you know he was romantic or not?? Oh, and the big ~mystery~ mentioned in the blurb about bodies showing up on Leo's doorstep, the one that made me think this was an actual thriller? It’s touched on in the beginning and not talked about again until 90% INTO THE BOOK. Also, there’s just… no conclusion. Leo finds his way to the Outpost, the wilderness society where the people who escaped their assassinations go, the Counsellor kills the president clone, the Queen is still a clone, Vince just killed his son, and that’s… it. There’s no big conflict, there’s no wrap up, no comeuppance, and it’s not even a cliffhanger because there’s no second novel (not that I would read it, anyway). It just ends. And I wasted like 8 hours of my life reading it. Honestly, the whole thing just felt so f*cking hopeless. What was the point?? Oh, but don’t worry! The author provided the longest author’s note I’ve ever read in a book to assure us that there definitely ~was~ a point and that you probably ~just didn’t get it~ Mikheyev tries to say all the dead bodies in the novel are a “metaphor for the people we kill on a daily basis, with our words, our actions, and our emotions”??? Some other great little excerpts from him are: “I wanted to paint Vince Nilsson… as the little voice inside all of our little heads. He’s not evil. Not really. Vince is all of us.” VINCE?? You mean the guy who murdered the girl who broke up with him because she couldn’t accept his “perfection”, cloned her, killed her again when she had too much personality for him, cloned her, r*ped her, killed her, on repeat until he realized he could never “perfect” her, killed HIMSELF, and let his clone take his place?? ...I’m pretty sure I don’t have a voice like Vince in my head. “I will never write a novel that includes rape scenes," I remember telling myself. "I will never join the BDSM bandwagon and talk about women and sex and lovemaking as if it were some animalistic, beastly activity reserved for low-class monsters that have no sense of dignity or self worth.” Yeah, I wish you hadn’t. “And then something happened.” Oh, god. Someone take microsoft word away from men, please. I’m begging you. Or maybe I just ~didn't get it~

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Holy trigger warnings. I'm not going to lie, but, Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath definitely has a bunch of them. Other than that, this isn't my first book to introduce clones and such.. but it was definitely the darkest/creepiest one. Which is probably why I devoured this book so freaking quickly. Because of all the darkness within it. The characters? Well they were entertaining in their own little ways but I definitely cringe I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Holy trigger warnings. I'm not going to lie, but, Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath definitely has a bunch of them. Other than that, this isn't my first book to introduce clones and such.. but it was definitely the darkest/creepiest one. Which is probably why I devoured this book so freaking quickly. Because of all the darkness within it. The characters? Well they were entertaining in their own little ways but I definitely cringed at some of the parts. Plus seeing their inner demons was interesting to a point but definitely made me sad in others. I honestly wasn't expecting to go through such an emotional ride when it came to this book. Mostly because I got no warnings of what to expect that would make me feel these emotions. I will say, that if you can get past all the trigger warnings and find the interesting parts of the book - like all the scientific shit and clones - you could enjoy it somewhat. I also think if I knew what to expect beforehand, well, then I would've been better prepared for what was about to come my way instead of being blindsided. All I'm going to say is that it's interesting and you might want a bottle of wine open next to you. No glass needed. You're welcome.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Deana The Queen

    I received an ARC of this book and am leaving a review voluntarily. I knew while reading this book that I would either give it one star or five stars. Going by how much I totally enjoyed it, you can see where I landed on the rating scale. And I have no regrets. Vince - a high school wunderkind - is obsessed with Melissa. When Melissa decides Vince doesn’t really do it for her, Vince decides to take revenge by cloning the perfect version of Melissa for himself. To do so, however, he will need to kil I received an ARC of this book and am leaving a review voluntarily. I knew while reading this book that I would either give it one star or five stars. Going by how much I totally enjoyed it, you can see where I landed on the rating scale. And I have no regrets. Vince - a high school wunderkind - is obsessed with Melissa. When Melissa decides Vince doesn’t really do it for her, Vince decides to take revenge by cloning the perfect version of Melissa for himself. To do so, however, he will need to kill the real Melissa. But eh; what’s one dead Melissa when you can make as many as you want? What follows is a bizarre yet unique tale about cloning that ends up being cautionary in nature. Vince - with his drive to perfect Melissa - creates one, uses her, destroys her, then makes yet another tweaked just slightly in some subtle way from the previous version. The cloning insanity doesn’t stop there, though. Once cloning is outlawed, it continues underground. Like humans are wont to do, they begin to use the brilliant science of cloning for nefarious reasons. Want a younger, more energetic version of your husband back? Kill the original and clone him. Child dead in a tragic accident? No problem! With enough money, you can walk out with a fresh clone in no time at all. A partner's idiosyncrasies just driving you batty?! End the agony once and for all with a clone who doesn't have those annoying tics coded into their DNA! This book was bloody and brilliant; bloody brilliant, actually. And the title is apt, for bodies are everywhere. But there seems to be a deeper lesson buried within the layers of prose, and that lesson is about acceptance. Who among us wouldn’t want a more attractive version of ourselves? Prettier? Stronger? Thinner? Smarter? And what about our spouses, parents, and friends? How much easier life would be if everyone were just a little kinder, a little more amenable to our way of thinking. But changing people doesn’t work. Wishing we or others were different doesn’t work either. Humans are complex creatures, and most of all, humans are flawed, and nothing will ever change that. I love this book for its kitschy, original cast of characters and ideas. It’s horrifying, eye opening, funny, disturbing, and touching all at once. If you love sci-fi, romance, horror, and techno thrillers, then this just might be your next read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev

    Excited to announce my third novel, a science fiction thriller! Grab some Xanax and turn on Bodies by Drowning Pool.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ruthie

    I received the review copy of Bodies from Book Sirens. It was my choice to read and I’m leaving this review voluntarily. Ok, you’ll see lots of reviewers on Goodreads did not enjoy Bodies and a few main complaints seem to be that based on what they’ve read, they’ve come to the conclusion that the author, is a misogynist. Another complaint is that the storylines didn’t come together or it lost their interest etc. First, while I was reading, it felt to me that the misogynistic views are that of the I received the review copy of Bodies from Book Sirens. It was my choice to read and I’m leaving this review voluntarily. Ok, you’ll see lots of reviewers on Goodreads did not enjoy Bodies and a few main complaints seem to be that based on what they’ve read, they’ve come to the conclusion that the author, is a misogynist. Another complaint is that the storylines didn’t come together or it lost their interest etc. First, while I was reading, it felt to me that the misogynistic views are that of the character(s) and the tone of voice is similar when you’re reading other novels with bad guys that have deep-seated issues and beliefs like characters from Stephen King novels or Game of Thrones characters. We as readers should not assume these are the thoughts and feelings of the author leaking into the book and instead read it as it is written. Bad characters saying and doing bad things to prove points the author is trying to make in their story. Second, yes I would have liked more interweaving of the storylines and characters but, it also felt to me like each different section was like a different episode of Black Mirror. There’s a main theme throughout the book about idealism and perfectionism. In my opinion, a warning about chasing it. There are also main story elements such as the cloning that are present in each part of the novel, but in each part, we get characters that are in a different part of the world or have a different occupation etc. It is dark, twisty, and many times hard to read. I did have to take many breaks while reading it. It will stick with me similar to when I’ve read Stephen King novels, the Game of Thrones series, and watched Black Mirror episodes. Bodies is recommended for fans of Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King and American Psycho. I would add fans of Black Mirror to this list. Particularly if you are able to watch multiple episodes of Black Mirror in a row and still go to sleep at night. TW: Lots of trigger warnings, probably anything relating to graphic content you can think of. Violence, abuse, death, explicit language/profanity, graphic rape, murder, misogyny, mental illness, graphic suicide, school shooting

  6. 5 out of 5

    Autum Peacock

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. First and foremost, a special thank you to Net Galley for sending me this arc in exchange for an honest review. With that out there, I have to say if I’m being honest I feel like I’m usually pretty generous with my ratings. If it’s keeping my attention, it’s usually a three star read. This, however, kept my attention until about 18% in, where I became so disgusted with the characters attitude and thoughts that I just could not longer pay attention. There are so many issues with this book. I feel First and foremost, a special thank you to Net Galley for sending me this arc in exchange for an honest review. With that out there, I have to say if I’m being honest I feel like I’m usually pretty generous with my ratings. If it’s keeping my attention, it’s usually a three star read. This, however, kept my attention until about 18% in, where I became so disgusted with the characters attitude and thoughts that I just could not longer pay attention. There are so many issues with this book. I feel like what this book was trying to do could have been done so much better. The only thing this book had that was up to par was the science and research that went into the cloning aspect, which I feel like was this authors strong suit. This is the only thing I found pleasant about this book. The main character was extremely over the top. His thoughts were pretty much all over the place, which I understand was the point but as a reader I found this portrayal of it very difficult to read. I didn’t understand his motivations, and the dates and times of certain things that had to do with the cloning didn’t line up. I didn’t see much of a gradual progression from “ I want to clone my girlfriend so she can love me” to “I want multiple sex slaves that will do whatever I want while I verbally abuse and degrade them.” I felt that the progression between these two emotions in our character were very out of the blue, and there weren’t many events that could hand logically led to this solution. Honestly, I really disliked this read. Overall I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who wants a good story, but if you want to learn about cloning in a sub-par environment, this might be the book for you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I received an ARC of this book for free from BookSirens. A big thank you to them and the author. I went into this book with the knowledge of all the trigger warnings provided by the author. The synopsis intrigued me, and I do love horror, so my issue with this book isn't the disturbing content (and there's a lot of it, so please do read the trigger warnings before making the decision to read it or not). Bodies is recommended for fans of Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King and American Psycho, which so I received an ARC of this book for free from BookSirens. A big thank you to them and the author. I went into this book with the knowledge of all the trigger warnings provided by the author. The synopsis intrigued me, and I do love horror, so my issue with this book isn't the disturbing content (and there's a lot of it, so please do read the trigger warnings before making the decision to read it or not). Bodies is recommended for fans of Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King and American Psycho, which sounded even more promising. I failed to see it when it comes to King, but there's definitely Tarantino and American Psycho influences, which could have been a great thing. However I felt it was trying too much to be similar to those influences instead of those only being a source of inspiration, which left Bodies seems like a work who tried and failed to be something it's not. The plot seems divided in three parts: the very short beginning with the Queen, the story of Vince and his obsession with Melissa leading him to do the unthinkable, and the part with Leo and Sara. While everything is supposed to be connected, it was pretty messy and the different storylines never really come together. As for the characters, they're all very one dimensional with nothing special about them to pick my interest. All those points made it very hard to finish Bodies, which I might not have done if I hadn't received an ARC. However, I find it very rude to not finish a novel when you're given an ARC as your spot in the review team could have been given to someone else who would have bothered to finish the book. There are many interesting ideas in Bodies, the issue is how they were delivered. A good horror story is supposed to make me feel both horrified and fascinated (in some way, perhaps that's a wrong choice of word... let's say invested. Like not being able to look away no matter what you're witnessing). It wasn't the case here, and if horror doesn't make me feel, there's obviously something wrong. Most of my reactions while reading Bodies were "what?" or "really?" I'm sad to give an ARC a one star rating, but I'm always honest in how a book made me feel and how much I liked it. I honestly think that with more thought, work and editing, Bodies could be something truly interesting. Trigger warnings: graphic content, explicit language, profanity, sex, suicide, violence, abuse, rape, death. Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath will be released on May 25, 2021.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert Baker

    An Ambitious Novel With Much Potential Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath is a very ambitious novel with some intriguing and enlightening insights into the human psyche. It transports the reader into an all-too-possible near future where humanity is on the cusp of a major threshold in evolution. While focusing in on the lives of a few individuals, mainly connected through the Counselor, this strange romance also addresses big questions about the future of humankind. At times I was a little confused, and An Ambitious Novel With Much Potential Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath is a very ambitious novel with some intriguing and enlightening insights into the human psyche. It transports the reader into an all-too-possible near future where humanity is on the cusp of a major threshold in evolution. While focusing in on the lives of a few individuals, mainly connected through the Counselor, this strange romance also addresses big questions about the future of humankind. At times I was a little confused, and at other times a little revolted. However, it’s worth pushing through those moments to grasp the bigger picture of what’s going on here. This novel has a rather explosive opening that is quite comical and entertaining as well as providing a great hook. However, the narrator is a bit misleading in parts. In particular, it’s implied that the prologue’s main character will die imminently. Vince is the first main character introduced, though I’d say he’s more of an antagonist than a protagonist. It’s difficult to say because this story becomes quite convoluted as it progresses. Introduced as an underdog, Vince is quite a sympathetic character to begin with. However, that soon changes as his behavior becomes more erratic. He does have a nice character arc though he isn’t focused on enough toward the end of the book to make it clear what’s actually happening with him. Although he’s important throughout, he is quite in the shadows later on. The true protagonist isn’t introduced until Chapter 4, p. 69. He’s called Leo. Of course he is. Because when you’ve got a major science fiction epic that potentially rivals The Matrix for scope, you need a Leo. Just in case it’s not clear to the reader that Leo is the real deal — the protagonist of this long tale — he is the only character who narrates his story in the first person. Leo owns the main plot arc which is, strangely, the romance plot line. Given how epic the main action plot is, I was a little taken aback by this. Leo should be quite a likeable guy because he’s another underdog…and a better behaved one than Vince, to be sure. However, some of Leo’s internal thoughts as the story develops reveal that he’s kinda shallow and sometimes not very nice. Again, I enjoyed his character development arc. BUT, I feel that his final state of attitude toward others (which I can’t go into details about without spoilers) feels to come out of the blue without any significant shown character development before this. Sara is the single truly angelic figure in this story and the most significant female character. I say she’s an angel because she has no obvious flaws. Indeed, she puts others before herself on multiple occasions and helps out anyone she can no matter their attitude toward her or status within society. She’s the kind of girl you don’t want your daughter to be because she’d soon become a doorstep. I was a little confused about the Queen of England, which is a shame. It spoiled the effect a little. I was confused because the story is set in 2049, which would make her 123 years old if it’s Queen Elizabeth. At first I thought that modern medicine had miraculously helped her to stay alive for longer. But then things happen when she meets the youngest ever President of the United States that make me think it can’t possibly be her. It could be Princess Charlotte. She’d be 34 in 2049. However, that would require Charles to die younger than his mom did, William to die before he’s 69, and her older brother Prince George to die before he’s 36. If it had been clarified who the Queen was by name, it would have been easier to visualize and much more plausible in the scene with the President. More significantly, I think the author misunderstood the role of a monarch within a constitutional monarchy. Yes, the Queen signs off all the laws before they can become law and has the power to dissolve Parliament. In this way, she’s pretty similar to the POTUS. However, unlike the POTUS, the Queen has no real influence on what laws are made. Those are decided by committees and passed by debate in the two Houses of Parliament. She just signs the things when they’re done. The only figurehead who can significantly influence what laws are passed in the Prime Minister. Since he or she is changed on a regular basis, they wouldn’t fit into this story very well. Strangely, despite the bloodbath that this novel is, the main plot appears to be Leo finding the love of his life. It’s difficult to pin that down, though, since there are so many things going on in this novel. The action plot, concerning the arrival of clones and their impact on society, is much more interesting. However, I was disappointed that it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. Maybe there will be a sequel novel where it does. Within this novel, the author set up many significant plot lines concerning the clones, the people hiding from the clones, the clones in positions of power, and the laws about cloning. But after these plots have been set going, and there is obvious conflict, nothing actually feels like it gets resolved. The only one plot line that is completed within the novel concerns Leo and the love of his life. Overall, I was disappointed by the plot development. While I found the resolution of the relationship plot very satisfying, I would have liked a clearer end to all the various action plot lines. It didn’t matter that the various action plot lines weren’t resolved by the end of the novel. What I was disappointed about was that they weren’t left in some kind of clear position…like a distinct step along the way toward resolution. The plot lines were all just left hanging with no obvious direction or place to go. I really wanted to be able to understand the end game that the various players were aiming at — their end goals. At least, that’s how I felt when I reached the end of the novel. The whole clone thing is great. I loved all of that, especially the extra abilities clones have over humans. The buildings, however, were often rather over the top. Every significant character appeared to live in a palace bigger than Buckingham Palace. Except Leo, of course. He is the underdog. There was one major continuity error. It’s on p.12 and relates to an action at the bottom of p.10. Basically, you can’t repair two holes in a glass windowpane with OxyComplete no matter how hard you scrub it. As an aside issue, bullets end up somewhere. If they passed through a body, they would then wind up embedded in a wall or other solid object. Unless, of course, they stayed inside that body. Also, moving bodies across a yard would likely leave some trace. So, focusing on just the first issue, the implication that the events would be impossible to detect is completely false. To make this right, either the window should have been open at the beginning of the scene (which it isn’t because the breaking of the glass is mentioned) or the character involved had the best windowpane replacing skills the world ever saw. I had a few problems with the prose. It was clear enough, but often it appeared to be telling rather than showing the story. Most significantly, there was a lot of profanity and generally crude talk. I mean, I don’t mind a little here and there, but this novel took it to an extreme. I haven’t read stuff with this level of profanity and crudity since Gore Vidal‘s and Anthony Burgess‘s novels from the 60s and 70s. On the other hand, this same profanity and crudity offered an interesting insight into the human thought process. I liked how the author offered an uncensored view into people’s raw thoughts…their most perverted desires or violent dreams. On the whole, after reading the novel, I decided that the level of profanity was warranted. It provided an extremely realistic picture of how people think. This is an original and intriguing science fiction novel. It has a lot of great things going for it. However, by the end of the novel, I didn’t feel that I got the full picture of everything. What I mean is that after reading I wasn’t fully clear about all the characters and their place in the world or in this story. One of the important characters only appears at the very end, and we’ve no idea about her history (other than her earliest childhood) or her in-depth thoughts about society at this point in time. Yet the whole resolution of the story so far depends on her. Further, I didn’t get a good enough grasp of what was going on in society and with the various big players by the end. I didn’t get what everyone’s goals were. In particular, the Counselor’s goals are clouded. He appears to lean in one direction and then suddenly acts very strongly in favor of the other on multiple occasions. For this reason, I fear I can only give this book 3 out of 5 at the moment. I feel it should do much better than this. It is a better story. BUT I feel that it maybe needs to be 20% longer and to give us more satisfying endings to the various plots. I’d also like more clarity in general. In summary, I believe this would be a wonderful novel if the ending did not feel so rushed and incomplete. It needs to be longer and contain more clear resolution of the political and societal conflicts toward the end. Notice: I received an advance review copy for free, but this review is my honest opinion of the book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sylvs (NOVELty Reads)

    ARC provided by the author and the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review DNFed at 47% WARNING REVIEW CONTAINS THEMES OF R*PE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. Read at own risk, I have not censored the words. I thought long and hard about how to review this book. I tried writing a review after finishing the book but I kept on deleting it and starting again, the words never coming simply and in the way I wanted them to. I needed to take a step back and really collect my thoughts again after what ARC provided by the author and the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review DNFed at 47% WARNING REVIEW CONTAINS THEMES OF R*PE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. Read at own risk, I have not censored the words. I thought long and hard about how to review this book. I tried writing a review after finishing the book but I kept on deleting it and starting again, the words never coming simply and in the way I wanted them to. I needed to take a step back and really collect my thoughts again after what I read but I think I'm finally at a stage where I can talk about this book without getting as triggered as I did after DNFing. I never ever DNF a book. The only time I "DNF" is when I don't have the time to commit to the book, when I'm just not feeling it or when I have other books that absolutely must be finished instead (hence the DNF). For me to DNF a book for a reason other than that is an extremely difficult feat to accomplish. I always push through books heck, I even pushed through The Sun Is Also A Star which I thought was never going to happen. But I guess what I'm trying to highlight here is that it takes A LOT for me to hate a book so much that I have to DNF which is unfortunately what happened with Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath. I tried, I really did. I thought it started well and I was already interested in the book from the premise. I read the blurb on NetGalley back when the book was categorised as Young Adult (and spoiler alert: this book is absolutely 100% NOT YA, it got taken into the adult section of NetGalley since then from what I heard). I was promised cloning and science fiction following a psychopathic main character who wanted to create the perfect clone of his ex-girlfriend who recently dumped him. I could understand what the author was trying to do. He was trying to critique society's idealism and our constant need or obsession with perfection. And he isn't wrong, our world is obsessed with it, looking the right way, looking for the "perfect" somebody and trying to be "perfect" for other people and I could see why he wanted to criticise this idea in a science fiction novel. It doesn't take long to start thinking how this obsessiveness with perfection could affect our relationships on a personal level or how far we would take things to ensure absolute perfection. Overall, I suppose the question at the heart of this book was: if we had the opportunity to make people perfect around us, would we take it and what price would we pay for it? I was really interested to see how that concept was going to be unpacked and so I read on. I read the first few pages and thought to myself "Hey this isn't so bad, it's a bit weird and twisty but I kinda like it" but it wasn't long before things spiralled from there. We are introduced first and foremost to Vince, a genius high schooler who recently got dumped by his girlfriend, Melissa. In revenge, he creates a clone of her, sure he had to kill the real Melissa to make her but it's not really death if the person is still alive. If you thought that was bad, it gets way worse. Vince started the book off as a virgin but it's not long until he starts having sex with Melissa and in ways that dehumanise and objectify her. Her main "purpose" for being alive was just to have mind-boggling sex with Vince until such a point where he would get bored and he'd kill her, regrow her genes and DNA and recreate the whole morbid cycle over and over again. That already sounds bad enough for Melissa but things only start getting worse and worse, she's called all sorts of derogatory slurs such as " dumb c*nt" or "B*tch" and if she dares to speak out against it, she just gets killed over and over, used as a sex slave again and again and again. It was sickening to read about all this and it was even more sickening that all of the men in the book were sex obsessed to the point where they didn't care about the girl's personality or anything else, if she could arouse them, then who even cared about anything else? It was because of that I found it extremely hard to relate to any of the characters, none of them were likeable (which I suppose was the point) but that decision didn't "add" anything to the story. Characterisation, as I always point out, is like the "flavouring" to the story, it makes the story interesting and enjoyable. Without characters that I like or characters that are relatable in some regard, the book will feel bland or boring. I didn't feel anything towards any of the characters (unless you count absolute disgust) and I found that I got to the stage where I honestly couldn't care less about what they did or didn't do. I wasn't invested from the start but I kept pushing on to see if my opinion would change. (Spoiler alert: it did not). Another reason why I'm giving this a one star (despite not finishing the book), I wanted the book to go somewhere but I felt like it just circled around the cloning and sex (which honestly should've had a smaller role than what it actually had which was, the whole story). I wanted the story to focus in on those ethical and metaphysical themes but it never went into detail about it. Looking back at what this book was trying to achieve (assuming that I'm right about the criticism of perfection and an idealistic society), I reckon that yes okay, the sex part was a good criticism however, there was no need to go over and over and over about it. The desire for perfect sex is one criticism but there are so many others that you can look into that would've progressed the story onwards instead of circumnavigating over the sex arc. That was what bothered me a lot as well as the extremely graphic detail in which this misogyny, rape and dehumanisation was occurring. This book overall was extremely confronting and I wouldn't recommend it to a lot of people based off the triggers I found (and I honestly think I'm just scratching the surface here, there apparently was gun violence and a school shooting later in the book but I can't confirm that because I only read half the book before it got to a stage where I honestly felt physically sick continuing on). From what I alone saw, this book had graphic rape scenes, graphic suicide scenes, fatshaming, blatant misogyny, dehumanising women, objectifying women, misogynistic slurs, homophobia displayed towards intersex people, transphobia, depression, violence towards women, sexual assault, possessiveness, explicit language and graphic sex scenes. Yet again, those are the ones I found and they probably only are a handful of the trigger warnings actually contained in this book. There's probably a whole more (because as said I only read 160 pages of this 300+ paged book before DNFing) but just note that the majority of those triggering scenes were described in graphic and explicit detail especially the rape scenes. If you have been through any of the abuse mentioned above I would strongly advise against reading this book. I haven't ever been in a situation like that and even I was super uncomfortable and struggling to push through. That being said, this isn't necessarily a book I would recommend to other people, I tried to like it and I even forced myself to push through it but it got to a point where I was not enjoying this story at all, I couldn't like the characters and the plot was more sex-focused than on the overall philosophical theme. This book had so much potential and I really wished it explored that more because the sex was just too much and it got to the point where it felt completely unnecessary. It didn't add anything to the story, just a whole heap of trigger warnings. ACTUAL RATING: 0.5 STARS

  10. 5 out of 5

    Red Lace Reviews

    Authenticity is at risk when genetically altered clones begin replacing the population, whether it’s spouses desiring improvement in their partners, or parents wishing for healthy children. Leo Oaks and his girlfriend find themselves getting deeper and deeper in a world full of secrets, where a wrong move could result in losing their life to a lab-grown copy. (WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.) I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev and Authenticity is at risk when genetically altered clones begin replacing the population, whether it’s spouses desiring improvement in their partners, or parents wishing for healthy children. Leo Oaks and his girlfriend find themselves getting deeper and deeper in a world full of secrets, where a wrong move could result in losing their life to a lab-grown copy. (WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.) I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity. It’s always a bold move to try and appeal to fans of such and such an author, in this case Stephen King. Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath began with the introduction of Vince Nilsson, a misogynistic high school genius that just happened to be the most capable murderer in the world (seriously, he completely aced that totally unrealistic double murder in the beginning), as well as the sole individual responsible for perfecting human cloning. Let’s face it, clones replacing people is thought-provoking in itself, so the potential was definitely there, but it missed the mark. The truth is that I found so SO many issues here, and it wasn’t the graphic content I didn’t connect with – my tastes lean toward mature themes in general – but more at just how disjointed and uneventful the entire book felt from the get-go. The POV constantly shifted from first-person to third, and there were pages and pages of chunky dialogue with multiple characters making nonsensical decisions – I was either in a state of boredom or disbelief. The bouts of violence and death that did occur were either glossed over or, as I mentioned above, extremely far-fetched. I really believe it could’ve benefited from more extensive feedback overall. In conclusion: I didn’t like Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath, but I’ll admit it touched on some interesting subjects relating to identity. In a futuristic setting, it followed several characters in their experiences with illegal cloning and a mysterious corporation named Emergence. I had a difficult time getting through it, all told, as the majority was either people sitting around talking philosophy or making stupidly ridiculous mistakes. It just wasn’t for me, I’m afraid. © Red Lace 2021 Blog ~ Twitter

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vix (alittlemixofvix)

    I struggled with this one so much that it was almost a DNF, and it wasn’t entirely because of the subjects – I’d seen the trigger warnings so knew to expect them. However I wasn’t expecting them in the style presented, I thought they’d add to the story more, but it just seemed like the author wanted to throw as much sex and rape in as possible. I honestly felt like this was written by a hormonal teenage boy, especially the first sections – it was not pleasant to read at all, but I pushed through. I struggled with this one so much that it was almost a DNF, and it wasn’t entirely because of the subjects – I’d seen the trigger warnings so knew to expect them. However I wasn’t expecting them in the style presented, I thought they’d add to the story more, but it just seemed like the author wanted to throw as much sex and rape in as possible. I honestly felt like this was written by a hormonal teenage boy, especially the first sections – it was not pleasant to read at all, but I pushed through. Additionally everything else sexual throughout the book was all about pleasing the man, never pleasing the woman. Frustratingly the underlying idea behind it all is an interesting one; that the science could be discovered to actually create clones, then the moral aspects related to it all. The initial ideas for good, but then the devastating routes the reality could lead humanity – such as curing diseases, replacing children taken too soon, improving certain genes (to either avoid psychopathic behaviour or just to make someone more loving), etc. To me that was such an interesting idea, but one I don’t think was really portrayed in the actual story. There were lots of disjointed sections that never really came together nicely which was also a shame. This one really wasn’t for me, I didn’t enjoy the style of writing or how the plot was executed, so I don’t think I’ll be reading other works by the author. Additionally, I think that if you feel you have to add a note at the end explaining to the readers what you were trying to get across in the story, then the story hasn’t done its job. *I received a complimentary copy of the e-book from NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    What did I just read? I think this might be one of those questions that will never get an answer, which has led me to give a very seldom given 1 star rating, and believe me I feel bad about doing that. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. If you do not enjoy random vulgar sexual elements, misogyny, or are triggered by graphic rape and violence - mostly towards women, then don't even consider reading this book. I seem to be on a roll with books that What did I just read? I think this might be one of those questions that will never get an answer, which has led me to give a very seldom given 1 star rating, and believe me I feel bad about doing that. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. If you do not enjoy random vulgar sexual elements, misogyny, or are triggered by graphic rape and violence - mostly towards women, then don't even consider reading this book. I seem to be on a roll with books that just don't live up to expectation, or that had so much promise and somehow lost the plot. I did read this book quite quickly, as I was hoping that it was going somewhere interesting, and there were moments of brilliance - hence the 1 star - but those moments were too few and far between. This book jumps all over the place. There is so much that I just didn't understand, because it wasn't executed properly. At the back of my mind was a question of whether this author has a deep seated hate of women, or perhaps that is what he was trying to portray in this book - he succeeded with that, but it was out of place in this story, in my opinion anyway. The premise of this book, and elements of this book were really good - but not enough of the book fell into that, as it was confusing most of the time, there was no real structure, the vulgarity of the random sexual scenes were somewhat unnecessary - as they didn't really lend to the story. I think the author was trying to do too much in one book, and perhaps it might have worked better if this was a duology or trilogy with a Part 1/2, etc and he focussed on one story/theme/timeline per book per part. I thought about this book long and hard (excuse the pun) after reading it, and could see promise in the story itself, the underlying elements of bigotry that the author might have been alluding to, and the whole clone idea were all solid plot themes, if executed well without the confusing jumps between timelines, people, view points (i.e. first person to third person) and even just less than great thought out writing. The author's note, even after reading it (it was rather lengthy) didn't help me understand the book any better, and I felt was rather unnecessary in the greater scheme of things. The blurb also mentions 'For fans of Quentin Tarantino, Stephen King, and the film American Psycho' which actually made me decide to read it - I disagree with the Stephen King reference, quite vehemently. Maybe the gore and violence (not that much actually) could be likened to Tarantino and the American Psycho movie, but that is where it would stop.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Remarks: I first want to thank Moses for allowing me to read Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath before the official release on May 25th and for allowing me to provide an honest review. *** Bodies is an interesting and shocking story that forces you to take a look at where society could be headed in the very near future, if we aren’t already there. Moses is able to establish immense philosophical questions within the context of this novel, which is something I haven’t really seen before. Talking and w Remarks: I first want to thank Moses for allowing me to read Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath before the official release on May 25th and for allowing me to provide an honest review. *** Bodies is an interesting and shocking story that forces you to take a look at where society could be headed in the very near future, if we aren’t already there. Moses is able to establish immense philosophical questions within the context of this novel, which is something I haven’t really seen before. Talking and writing about idealism and perfectionism are not typically things that can be discussed creatively, and Moses has attempted to do just that. Bodies is one of the most original and most jaw-dropping, gut-wrenching novels I’ve ever read. Seriously, some heavy trigger warnings in here as this is not for the faint of heart. From start to finish there is something that is either grotesque, profane, or explicit. Whenever I felt like I was done and ready to give up, something grabbed me and yanked me back into the story. Moses establishes good transitions within Bodies and that establishes a greater flow for the overall concept. From murdering and cloning people (hence the title) to insane amounts of technological advances including but not limited to nuclear-powered engines and anti-gravity backpacks; there is going to be something that will get you wanting to see what else is inside. With this being said, I feel as though the creation of this piece was slightly rushed. It felt as if some of the characters lacked depth and/or meaningful growth. Along with that, parts of the characters’ dialogue felt strained and almost disingenuous, as if the vocabulary didn’t match their persona. This weakened my connection with the characters and it made it a tad difficult to create an emotional bond with the novel and the contents inside. To conclude, I felt like Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath fell just short of its potential. I was thoroughly enjoying this unique story, with its continual buildup, until I kept reading and realized I was getting close to the end where I began to question when the actual climax will hit. With regards to what happened in the last chapter, it seemed like the contents within it should’ve been expanded several more chapters. Regardless, I enjoyed the novel, and if an extended, revised version ever comes about I'll be one of the first to read it. The author’s note at the end made for a perfect after-credits type commentary explaining the history and thoughts behind this story. If you’re wanting to broaden your horizons and read something out of the ordinary, give Bodies a shot. Score: Character / Character Development: 68 Word Choice: 77 Organization: 72 Build Up: 79 Climax: 74 Resolution: 78 Plot: 82 Interesting Factor: 88 Writing Style: 80 Attention to Detail: 79 Length of Book(s): 75 Average: 77.5 / 100

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    *Thank you to NetGalley and the author for this advance copy* DNF @ 50%. This book was completely different than I expected it to be. I was expecting a horrifying book on the effects of cloning and playing God. What I got was what sort of that but in a way where they thought they were profound and edgy, but created a story that ignored the purpose in favor of making a story about sex slaves. The story itself was also disjointed, and never really came together in a way that I felt made sense.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Madison Estes

    * Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review This story had a lot of interesting ideas, but it fell short for me in many ways. The POV shift from Vince to Leo was jarring. The story focuses on Vince for four chapters and then suddenly Leo is introduced as the main character, and Vince rarely makes an appearance again. Right around the time I was getting into the story and interested in finding out what happened to Vince, there is a time jump and Vince * Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review This story had a lot of interesting ideas, but it fell short for me in many ways. The POV shift from Vince to Leo was jarring. The story focuses on Vince for four chapters and then suddenly Leo is introduced as the main character, and Vince rarely makes an appearance again. Right around the time I was getting into the story and interested in finding out what happened to Vince, there is a time jump and Vince is barely in the story anymore. It's a very risky storytelling move that didn't pay off for me. I did eventually like Leo, but it took awhile because he's not as interesting as Vince, and I almost stopped reading a few times once the story shifted to mostly Leo's POV. There seemed to be a lot of aborted arcs. For instance, there was a segment on how they were having trouble cloning a certain character, and then later on that is no longer an issue. I don't understand why the author would make a big deal about how they couldn't clone this character for some reason, as if they were special, and then not mention it ever again. It makes me think it might have been a different story line the author was planning on exploring, but forgot to remove this part when the author aborted the arc. Also, when Leo realizes some bad people are after him and his girlfriend, he decides to take her on a date? Instead of trying to flee or get help from authorities? And he ends up trying to have sex with her, presumably while driving? Leo isn't the brightest, but all of this felt very artificial and out of character. It also ruined the tension that the story had been building up until that point. I honestly though maybe the "date" had been a ploy. It would have made a lot more sense. When I realized that the date was not a ploy, I was incredibly frustrated with the illogical turn the story took. I also find it weird that someone who supposedly loved a clone would call the original girl she was cloned from "the real [character name]". Maybe "the original " or "the human version", but not "the real [character name]" because that implies the clone was fake. The language seemed inconsistent with what someone who loved a clone would say. The subplot with Leo's sister was unnecessary. Had the author decided to go somewhere with it after a major incident I won't spoil here, it could have been interesting. As it stands now, it just feels like a thing that happened instead of something related directly to the main story line. Speaking of the main story, there seemed to be two stories in this. First the story of how and why Vince invented cloning, and then Leo and his friends/girlfriend dealing with the affects of cloning. Both stories had good moments, but they felt rather disconnected. I'm not sure why we had to have Vince's story to understand Leo's story, and vice versa. I thought this book was going to be a commentary on misogyny based on the first four chapters and how Vince treated the clones. That's why I tolerated the abusive language and uncomfortable scenes in the first few chapters. But after reading the entire book and seeing it wasn't really a commentary on misogyny but just relationships and existence as a whole, I'm not sure all of that was necessary, and it feels weirdly out of tone with the rest of the novel. I liked a lot of the ideas mentioned, like a civil war over cloning. I liked Sara and Leo. I thought Vince was a compelling villain (although I wish he was in the story more in the second and third acts). There were some very interesting ideas explored and some well-written passages. But there was also a lot of nonsense plot points (I really can't get over Leo and Sara going on a casual date when Leo knows people are after them and having sex while driving, wtf?), inconsistent character motivation, and other things that were frustrating to read. I think this book needed at least one good revision from a developmental editor (or maybe one more revision, if an editor did go over it). Not proofreading, but a good developmental edit to make sense of some of the more jarring parts of the story. Maybe they could have done something to help make the scenes between Part One and Part Two not feel so disconnected, and to create more cohesion in the story, because at times, the second and third act felt all over the place, like introducing new POVs with characters we've never met in the middle of a chapter. If you asked me to explain the main story line, I would struggle a bit because there was just so much going on, and it seems only a little of it connected. I'm also not entirely sure what the climax of the novel is supposed to be. Also one more thing. Vince is a far more compelling character because he's a character with agency. He has a problem (Melissa doesn't love him) and he attempts to fix it. It doesn't work, so he tries something new. Leo is mostly a reactive character. He reacts to Sara. He reacts to the antagonists in the story. He doesn't really seem to make a lot of choices that affect the plot. I've enjoyed stories with reactive characters before, but switching from a character that directly drives the plot to one that is mostly just reacting to his environment is probably another reason why I started to lose interest after the POV switch. I almost want to give this a 2.5 because my feelings are somewhere between liking it and disliking it. I think I'm disappointed because with some developmental edits, this could have been much better. It just missed the mark with me and left me thinking more about what could have been rather than the story that I actually read. I want to give the author props for having a good imagination and great ideas though. I just thought the execution needed more work.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    I'm grateful to NetGalley for allowing me access to this prior to publication, but I'm struggling to form coherent thoughts about this one after having recently finished reading. The focus on cloning and exploration of the dilemmas posed by scientific breakthroughs is definitely something that encouraged me to pick this up. The lacklustre reviews and emphasis on trigger warnings was a little off-putting, but I was prepared to try it. It will certainly not be to everyone's tastes, and, while there I'm grateful to NetGalley for allowing me access to this prior to publication, but I'm struggling to form coherent thoughts about this one after having recently finished reading. The focus on cloning and exploration of the dilemmas posed by scientific breakthroughs is definitely something that encouraged me to pick this up. The lacklustre reviews and emphasis on trigger warnings was a little off-putting, but I was prepared to try it. It will certainly not be to everyone's tastes, and, while there are elements of it that I think warrant recommendation, it is a book that I can't help feel would benefit greatly from some further edits. In the publicity material we're told this is for fans of Tarantino and American Psycho, amongst others. The influence of these two in particular is evident, but something about the style/content felt like a pale imitation. After a bizarre opening with an attack on the Queen, we open the novel with our focus on high school genius, Vince Nilsen. He is obsessed with his girlfriend, Melissa, and much is made of his love of scientific study. As someone with a lot of money at his disposal, Vince is a character who has trawled the internet, dark web and all manner of places to find the latest innovations and scientific knowledge. There is no doubt that he could be a character who could change the world...but what we get is a character who uses his ability for intensely selfish gain. Vince - in secret - finds a way to successfully clone humans. In his quest for the perfect girlfriend, Vince becomes a killer...time and time again. The opening section focusing on Vince was almost enough to make me not bother finishing this. He was a character who had potential, but he was presented as a classic narcissist. His detachment towards the others he interacted with suggested a highly disturbed psychological state, and the attitude towards the female characters was repulsive. Page after page focusing on the sexual gratification he achieves, and killing in order to attempt his ideal woman - a submissive whose only aim is to please her master - was not something I found remotely entertaining. Imagining that we might get further details about Vince in some attempt to 'flesh him out' I continued reading. What we quickly shifted to then was a seemingly different story focusing on characters that appeared from nowhere. There were attempts to loosely connect the myriad of characters with the one we'd focused on at the start. There were some scenes that encouraged you to consider the ethics of cloning and the potential implications - for good and bad - if science is allowed to develop without clear controls. However, nothing felt tied-up and with so many characters involved it was hard to really develop much interest in any of them. There will be fans of this, but I have to say I'm not one of them.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Received an ARC from NetGalley for a honest review The story takes place in the not-so-distant future where we meet Vince Nilsson, a young prodigy of science with a sociopathic streak. After being scorned by his girlfriend Melissa, he comes up with a solution: kill Melissa, harvest her DNA and create a “better” version of her that will love and respect him. Soon enough Vince finds himself running his own company, Emergence Inc. which promises everything from a “younger, newer model” of a partner Received an ARC from NetGalley for a honest review The story takes place in the not-so-distant future where we meet Vince Nilsson, a young prodigy of science with a sociopathic streak. After being scorned by his girlfriend Melissa, he comes up with a solution: kill Melissa, harvest her DNA and create a “better” version of her that will love and respect him. Soon enough Vince finds himself running his own company, Emergence Inc. which promises everything from a “younger, newer model” of a partner to the eradication of a life-threatening illness from someone’s genetics. As a result, Vinces falls deeper into the rabbit hole of striving for perfection, manipulating people’s genes and developing a God complex whilst constantly battling his own negative thoughts… Fast-forward almost 20 years and we are introduced to Leo Oaks and Sara Hawking. In a world where cloning has occurred yet still has its taboos, they find they both have their own ties to Emergence Inc and not everything (or everyone) is as it seems. Well, what a puzzling ride that was! So my interest was totally piqued after reading the blurb. From the offset, I was getting vibes of Tarantino meets Weird Science with a Black Mirror twist and could see the potential. However I did feel the story didn’t quite scratch the itch and I found it quite confusing to follow at times. The story flits between different character’s in a way that’s a little erratic and I found it hard to connect with the characters. As a result, it made it difficult to keep up with where we were in the timeline of events. I like chaotic, but at times it did feel a bit confusing, even for me! There are some interesting aspects in this book: the striving for the impossible “perfection” (arguably relevant in today’s world) and also the age old questions of science vs religion. It also raised some interesting questions on the ethics behind cloning which I would’ve loved to have seen more developed in the story. Also there are a number of triggers that come with this book; to name a few there’s violence, drug use, suicide, mass shootings and rape. On the whole I think there was something lacking for me with this book, but I would say if you like the idea of a darker/sexier version of Altered Carbon laced with a little of The Shining, give this one a go.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I was looking forward to reading this ARC simply based on what NetGalley's description was and the cover art was alluring. Of course, being that I received this for an honest review, so here is goes: I only got through 33% of the book before I just had to stop. I don't know if I'll pick it back up again, but I feel like I might have to DNF it and forget about giving it another try. As much as I wanted to like this book, I just couldn't get passed some of the obvious triggers that will most defin I was looking forward to reading this ARC simply based on what NetGalley's description was and the cover art was alluring. Of course, being that I received this for an honest review, so here is goes: I only got through 33% of the book before I just had to stop. I don't know if I'll pick it back up again, but I feel like I might have to DNF it and forget about giving it another try. As much as I wanted to like this book, I just couldn't get passed some of the obvious triggers that will most definitely deter readers away. If you are triggered by violence and violence towards women, this will not be a good read for you. I am going to talk more about the plot that I read, so if you are reading this and you know that you're triggered by the items I mentioned above, I would stop reading. I have other posts that are lighthearted, if you like to make your way to them... Now I knew there would be some graphic things in this novel, but I didn't know the severity of the graphic scenes. This boy, Vince kills the girl he's been obsessed with, Melissa, to clone her and make a better version of her. Each clone he uses as a personal (and I hate to use this terminology) sex slave. He degrades them and r*apes them. Once he's uninterested in that particular clone, he gets rid of them. This is so he can "perfect" the gene sequencing of his obsession of Melissa. He becomes a big wig in the underground "dark web" scene with the company he created, Emergence, Inc. Flash forward to decades later, where Leo, finds out how much he's tied to Vince. But did I get to the part where bodies start showing up at Leo's door? Nope. This book reminds me so much of American Psycho, and I stopped listening to that as well this year. It has been compared to this book/film and I see why. Vince is a misogynist. The writing is very anti-woman. I'm disappointed because I wanted to broaden my sci-fi shelf. I have to give this (for the amount I read) 1/5 stars. Did I want to know how it ends? Yes. Do I think I'll be able to find out? No. I just couldn't get through all the nastiness towards women. Maybe, I can try and pick up where I left off but I'm not sure.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Veight

    Vince, an obsessed genius teenager fabricates a clone to replace the girlfriend that dumped him, but has to kill the original first. With gene manipulation he builds a better Melissa, then realizing the potential creates an underground cloning empire. Then we meet Leo Oaks, who decades later receives a body at his door, his own! Starting with an ominous and shock-worthy prologue this presents a narrative that is intense, unconventionally intimate and sometimes eerie. With a melancholic vibe it gi Vince, an obsessed genius teenager fabricates a clone to replace the girlfriend that dumped him, but has to kill the original first. With gene manipulation he builds a better Melissa, then realizing the potential creates an underground cloning empire. Then we meet Leo Oaks, who decades later receives a body at his door, his own! Starting with an ominous and shock-worthy prologue this presents a narrative that is intense, unconventionally intimate and sometimes eerie. With a melancholic vibe it gifts you a WTF just happened mentality, is gruesome in many instances but utterly engaging. Just embrace the weird. It is so blunt, a lot of people will find quite a few scenes offensive or hard to swallow, but I think it is done to show the brutality of the character/situation and makes you think about morality — that sometimes elusive line between right and wrong. Presenting gut-punching revelations, it is more emotional and personal than you'd expect. The parts with Leo are esoteric, even endearing and a complex mystery with conspiracy tidbits thrown in the mix. All these stories do intertwine at some point. Ambitious though flawed and uneven with sparks of genius. It is a bit whiplashy and the back and forth can be jarring, especially between different POVs, a lot of them seemingly coming out of nowhere. In my opinion, the story would have benefited from a more straightforward type of storytelling with fewer characters thrown into the forefront. Some of the themes it explores are obsession, identity and equality, and what exactly is humanity. It's a tough as nails, compelling mystery cloning conspiracy-thriller with philosophical interludes and surprisingly romance!

  20. 4 out of 5

    ❀ Crystal ✿ - PEACE ☮ LOVE ♥ BOOKS

    ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review 2.5 Stars???? What in the world did I just read??? I was initially really intrigued by the blurb for this book. As days past the rating continually dropped and I became more hesitant. Now I'm just left pondering the insanity of it all. The trigger warnings let you know some crazy sh*t is about to go down but personally I thought it was a little overzealous. While I think the trigger warnings sort of exceeded the crazy in the book all I'm left feeling ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review 2.5 Stars???? What in the world did I just read??? I was initially really intrigued by the blurb for this book. As days past the rating continually dropped and I became more hesitant. Now I'm just left pondering the insanity of it all. The trigger warnings let you know some crazy sh*t is about to go down but personally I thought it was a little overzealous. While I think the trigger warnings sort of exceeded the crazy in the book all I'm left feeling is how overall weird it was and why?!?!?. The beginning starts just as the blurb states, sans any surprises really. The start is probably the most deranged of the book and while that madness does not let up, it really sets the stage for the rest of what's to come! It is rather disturbing at times, the man behind the clones (Vince) always trying to mask his depravity and explain it away. It all starts as a way for him to basically make cloned sex slaves of his ex one right after the other when time after time, he keeps killing them and has to continue to make more smh. After awhile I felt there were just too many characters to get straight which made this already confounding book that much more hard to grasp. I don't get the opening part with the Queen, in the sense of what was the point! In the end I'm not sure what the author was trying to get across other than clones=bad and they will take over the world! In fact aside from two non-clones, were there even any normal humans left? It was a bit intense to also include a school shooting and replace all those involved with clones and impair peoples memories. That was all kinds of f'd up especially given how commonplace that is in the US. It just felt a little too far overboard/taboo and considering the many other crazy moments in this book that's saying a lot! Also I feel like I missed things here and there as my mind could only take so much. And the man behind it all Vince, what happened with him? After all he did, I'm to believe he's happily married and even has a kid? I dunno it's all just a little to wild, weird and out there for me. He replaces his own son after he tries to undermine him and then what???? As this was an ARC I'm not sure if this will be the final copy as the book could also use some serious editing and formatting. Crazy read, certainly not for everyone.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fiction Majorette

    [email protected] 50% I wanted to read this book initially because I was interested in a story exploring the darker side of cloning. I knew going into this that this book would be dark and have a lot of content that maybe some readers wouldn't be okay with but I was looking forward to exploring the idea of people doing these dark things and maybe the moral implications/questions raised of these extremes. I was excited to see a book go really far in exploring the question of where the line for humanity is and [email protected] 50% I wanted to read this book initially because I was interested in a story exploring the darker side of cloning. I knew going into this that this book would be dark and have a lot of content that maybe some readers wouldn't be okay with but I was looking forward to exploring the idea of people doing these dark things and maybe the moral implications/questions raised of these extremes. I was excited to see a book go really far in exploring the question of where the line for humanity is and how cloning can blur that line. I initially was expecting this book to be the darker side of The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey, which I read earlier this year and I was disappointed this was not the case. The execution, however, was extremely lacking in my opinion. It felt very surface level with a lot of the darker elements added in for pure shock value. If these elements were held back a bit or maybe slowly ramped up throughout the book, I think they would have been more impactful. I thought the characters were extremely flat, the pacing was too fast to actually get a handle on the plot, and the actual plot was confusing and lacking structure. I believe every book has an audience and there are some 4 and 5 star reviews out there so obviously this book is for some people. I wanted to like this book and I was excited to see the darker side of humanity and cloning but it really was the execution overall that really killed my reading experience. I think the concept is great in theory, but it wasn't working for me in the actual book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kearstyn

    I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is bananas and I definitely wouldn't classify it as romantic in any way. First, the positives: - The author's writing style is quick and easy to read. - The worldbuilding is decent, though I'd say it's a rather optimistic view of the future as it envisions the world as basically the same as the present day but with more tech. And now, the negatives: - There are multiple storylines throughout the book that never r I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is bananas and I definitely wouldn't classify it as romantic in any way. First, the positives: - The author's writing style is quick and easy to read. - The worldbuilding is decent, though I'd say it's a rather optimistic view of the future as it envisions the world as basically the same as the present day but with more tech. And now, the negatives: - There are multiple storylines throughout the book that never really come together. - The voices of the characters aren't distinct and they all blur together because of how one dimensional they are. - Most of the male characters seem like they come straight out of 4Chan. - For some reason the author is super explicit about women giving oral sex to men but not about men giving oral sex to women. If you're going to write a sexually graphic novel, it's hypocritical to be explicit about one but not the other. - The amount of dialogue is unnecessary and detracts from the overall story line. - The book's audience is unclear. It's mostly told from the perspective of immature, sex-obsessed teenagers, but it's way too graphic to be YA. Overall, if I hadn't been given a free copy in exchange for a review, I wouldn't have bothered to finish reading this and I definitely won't be recommending it to anyone.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Sedona

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing a complimentary advanced copy of Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath by Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev in exchange for my honest review. TW: honestly the trigger warning for this book is exhaustive. Violence, gore, assault, sexual assault, graphic self-harm, mental illness, etc. Watching the rating on this book continue to drop was almost like watching a sporting event. I started this book optimistic. I knew Bodies would be weird going into it, the question was if it'd be o Thank you to NetGalley for providing a complimentary advanced copy of Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath by Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev in exchange for my honest review. TW: honestly the trigger warning for this book is exhaustive. Violence, gore, assault, sexual assault, graphic self-harm, mental illness, etc. Watching the rating on this book continue to drop was almost like watching a sporting event. I started this book optimistic. I knew Bodies would be weird going into it, the question was if it'd be on the right or the wrong side of weird. Unfortunately no matter how much I wanted to enjoy this book I simply couldn't. The concept of clones is not a new one, but this book had potential to explore the way that clones can infiltrate society is a way that is simply unavoidable. However it spent more time on overwhelming violence, sexual fantasies and poor portrayal of women. This book was pitched as a mystery/thriller, but failed to execute that at all. I was extremely uncomfortable with the way that women are treated in this book. They are depicted as objects for the men to either control, have sex with or kill. I won't spend much time going into all the problems this book has, I will simply end this review by telling you this was not a book I enjoyed nor would recommend to anyone, and I wish I had not read it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    D.S Mac

    Thank you to BookSirens and Moses for allowing me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 'He would have to kill the real Melissa— if he was going to replace her with another Melissa.' Vince is a boy genius who falls for Melissa fast. She dumps him and he begins his journey researching and learning how to clone. This part of the book was dark, grotesque and interesting but also the only decent bit. 'She’s like a flower. You plant it. You water it. You prune it to your liking. And when it Thank you to BookSirens and Moses for allowing me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 'He would have to kill the real Melissa— if he was going to replace her with another Melissa.' Vince is a boy genius who falls for Melissa fast. She dumps him and he begins his journey researching and learning how to clone. This part of the book was dark, grotesque and interesting but also the only decent bit. 'She’s like a flower. You plant it. You water it. You prune it to your liking. And when it blooms, you pluck it out. Nobody tells you that you can’t pluck your own flowers, that you can’t prune them, that you can’t change them.' After the initial Vince chapters this fell apart entirely and here's the reasons why. 90% did not make any sense I did not need to know about the sexial acts of a 15 year old! There were too many different povs that didn't really go anywhere. If this had of followed Vince's story it could have been fantastic. However I did finish this as it was readable, so there is a small positive. “Let’s make sweet, sweet love.”“Yes, Your Majesty.”...... WHAT? 🤷‍♂️

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I really appreciate the author's honest admission that he knew what he was writing and wanted to go there. He was looking for the "shock value". The author got it. I know I was shocked but at the same time appalled and disappointed with this book. Let me explain: I was appalled because of the derogatory way in which the female clones were portrayed in the first part of the story. They were used as sex objects. Now for the disappointment. I was disappointed/bored by the latter two thirds of this I really appreciate the author's honest admission that he knew what he was writing and wanted to go there. He was looking for the "shock value". The author got it. I know I was shocked but at the same time appalled and disappointed with this book. Let me explain: I was appalled because of the derogatory way in which the female clones were portrayed in the first part of the story. They were used as sex objects. Now for the disappointment. I was disappointed/bored by the latter two thirds of this book. It kind of had the feel of a futuristic story which I liked but it was like I was reading two different books. I got the tie in from the first part of the story to the other part but I was not looking for a futuristic story but a horror story. To be honest, I was expecting a bunch of gore and gruesome scenes. Especially from the book cover, the title of the book and the warning that comes with the book. So for me this book was a sad fail. I would have been fine even with the "shock value" if it had been portrayed in another way.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen Ryan

    I received an ARC of this novel from Booksirens for an honest review. Thank you Booksirens and the author. I almost put this book down several times. Vince is just an awful, evil person! He clones and abuses his ex-girlfriend many times, always looking to improve her. The book is very violent, graphic, and filled with rape scenes. But the concept is so intriguing I am glad I pushed through to the end. After you get beyond all the raping and nasty language this was a very thought-provoking book. I received an ARC of this novel from Booksirens for an honest review. Thank you Booksirens and the author. I almost put this book down several times. Vince is just an awful, evil person! He clones and abuses his ex-girlfriend many times, always looking to improve her. The book is very violent, graphic, and filled with rape scenes. But the concept is so intriguing I am glad I pushed through to the end. After you get beyond all the raping and nasty language this was a very thought-provoking book. The bodies just keep dropping as cloning goes underground. All kinds of people follow in Vince's shoes seeking the perfect replica of someone they supposedly loved. At the end, the author explained why he used such awful violent language and I felt a lot better about it. You can understand why it adds to what he was trying to convey. So if your faint of heart listen to all the trigger warnings and leave this alone. However, if you enjoy dark gruesome horror, especially the kind that feels relevant today read this book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sammi

    When I saw this one available it intrigued me. The cover was good; the contempt seemed right up my street and it felt like it was going to be something good. Unfortunately I DNF’d this at 19%. I am not a sensitive reader. I enjoy gory stuff, and graphic stuff doesn’t really phase me, but this book just felt like torture porn and it wasn’t good. I enjoyed the premise, the clones, the science. It has such good foundations, but unfortunately for me the writing wasn’t up my street and the writer just When I saw this one available it intrigued me. The cover was good; the contempt seemed right up my street and it felt like it was going to be something good. Unfortunately I DNF’d this at 19%. I am not a sensitive reader. I enjoy gory stuff, and graphic stuff doesn’t really phase me, but this book just felt like torture porn and it wasn’t good. I enjoyed the premise, the clones, the science. It has such good foundations, but unfortunately for me the writing wasn’t up my street and the writer just wasn’t pulling it off. I found myself hating my read of it, despite the interesting premise. I hated the main character, I hated the fixation on breasts and bodies. I hated how sexist and perverted it was. I felt like it was trying to get the same shock factor as American Psycho, but without the refinement. Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers and author for a chance to read and review this title. I am sorry I didn’t enjoy it, but I will always be honest in my reviews. There might be an audience out there for this, but it isn’t me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kari Marie

    Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath by Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev is a story about cloning and playing God. What are the consequences? Ok I DNF so I cannot write a proper synopsis. The opening was great and I was super excited to read this book. I quickly changed my mind. I am not saying the author is an incel but I had no desire to delve into the mind of an incel and I think the author did a great job of doing that. What really drove me nuts is not what most people would expect. The initial "perfect" mu Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath by Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev is a story about cloning and playing God. What are the consequences? Ok I DNF so I cannot write a proper synopsis. The opening was great and I was super excited to read this book. I quickly changed my mind. I am not saying the author is an incel but I had no desire to delve into the mind of an incel and I think the author did a great job of doing that. What really drove me nuts is not what most people would expect. The initial "perfect" murder is what I keep focusing on and I could not move on from it. If you shoot someone through a window there will be at least a hole through the window. Supposedly nobody noticed this hole? Or this hole did not exist? In all truthfulness once I noticed that I could not focus on anything else and I finally gave up. One star. I think the cloning aspects and the science fiction was great and the opening was fantastic but I found diving into the brain of an incel too much for me. Plus that hole. Thank you to BookSirens and Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyevfor the free copy. This was an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pearly Williams

    Vince Nilsson a high school genius kid is in love with Melissa. However, Melissa rejects him and Vince decides to take revenge by cloning the perfect version of Melissa for himself. So he sets about to kill Melissa and obtain her DNA. What follows is a weird tale of cloning that takes place repeatedly in an effort to obtain the perfect version of Melissa. In a futuristic setting, it followed several characters in their experiences with illegal cloning and a mysterious corporation named Emergence. Vince Nilsson a high school genius kid is in love with Melissa. However, Melissa rejects him and Vince decides to take revenge by cloning the perfect version of Melissa for himself. So he sets about to kill Melissa and obtain her DNA. What follows is a weird tale of cloning that takes place repeatedly in an effort to obtain the perfect version of Melissa. In a futuristic setting, it followed several characters in their experiences with illegal cloning and a mysterious corporation named Emergence. Trigger warnings: graphic content, explicit language, profanity, sex, suicide, violence, abuse, rape, death. Summary: The author's writing is brilliant and so captivating. However, it was not my cup of tea. If you love sci-fi, romance, horror, and techno-thrillers, then this just might be your next read I would like to thank Moses and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    JRM

    "Bodies" was a trip! I had an idea of the story of course by reading the synopsis, but diving into the book itself took me in so many different directions. The book was well written, with a lot of different characters, some of which came in and out of the story. Bottom line, there is a lot going on in this book, and you definitely need to pay attention to keep up. The book has a little bit of everything and a lot of some of those things. From love, hate, murder, intrigue, you name it. This is the "Bodies" was a trip! I had an idea of the story of course by reading the synopsis, but diving into the book itself took me in so many different directions. The book was well written, with a lot of different characters, some of which came in and out of the story. Bottom line, there is a lot going on in this book, and you definitely need to pay attention to keep up. The book has a little bit of everything and a lot of some of those things. From love, hate, murder, intrigue, you name it. This is the first book that I have read from this author, but I will check out others, to see if they also grab my attention. Speaking of the author, I enjoyed his heartfelt Author's Note at the end of the book. It was well done. I received an advance review copy from Booksirens for free, in return for my honest review.

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