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project cainWhat: Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard

Who: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

When: September 3rd 2013

How: A copy of this novel was won through a giveaway hosted by Books, Bones & Buffy.

Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’.

There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.

When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?

4cats2Project Cain is one of those books that falls into its very own category that belongs to no other book. It’s unique, and spine-chilling, and creepy. It was a memorable read, by any means.

Project Cain brings into question what the human race is willing to do for its own furtherance. To win wars. To eliminate the enemy. To be number one. And the fact that it seemed plausible was almost scary. What seems plausible, you may ask?

The cloning of serial killers in order to make weapons. That was the scary part.

In Project Cain, we have Jeff Jacobson, a clone of the very real and famous serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. After I finished Project Cain, I went and Googled Dahmer. And let’s just say that his crimes were horrific, and made this book even more disturbing than it already was.

Project Cain was by no means a fast book. There was no real discernible plot, except that Jeff and Castillo were looking for the escaped clones. There was absolutely no romance, or female characters for that matter. But I found that I really did not mind. About the pace, the plot, or the romance. I found Project Cain to be an interesting read without these three aspects. The majority of the book consists of Jeff thinking and wondering about who exactly he is – and whether Nurture or Nature determines the kind of person you become. Whether or not he would turn into a serial killer like Dahmer. And I found these thoughts compelling.

I think the thing I loved most about Project Cain was the unique style in which it was written. Jeff talks to the reader as if we were sitting in a lounge-room sharing a cup of coffee or something. He tells you facts, shares things, asks you questions. And it makes the whole story seem that much more real. I really like the style that Girard adopted in this novel.

Jeff himself was an amazing character. Not many books focus solely on two characters, with others in the peripheral. And not many books focus solely on one character’s feelings, presented as a conversational monologue. But I loved it. I loved getting to know Jeff in such an intimate way. To learn his thoughts, and how he felt about his father, Castillo, the other clones, and most importantly, himself. His character voice invited you in, and I felt my heart aching for him several times throughout the story.

Jeff and Castillo’s relationship was also another aspect of Project Cain that I really liked. The way they interacted with each other made me laugh out loud several times, and the acceptance and approval that Jeff yearned from Castillo was believable, and one of those heartbreaking moments.

The horrific parts of this novel were presented in a way that told the facts, but didn’t go into too much gory detail. I did appreciate that. I imagine that the adult version of this story, Cain’s Blood would go into much greater detail, which is why I think I will stay away from it.

I was very pleased by the ending, and thought that it was a perfect conclusion to the story. I would, myself, pick up another book about Jeff, as I would love to learn about what becomes of him, and the others like him.

Project Cain is by no means a read for the light hearted. If you want a creepy story filled with facts about famous serial killers, and the thoughts of a teenage boy who was cloned from one; I suggest it to you wholeheartedly.

P.s. The cover. I am so darn in love with this cover – it is so extremely beautiful.

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: December 3, 2014 • By: Chiara

4 Responses to Review: Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard

  1. Olgia says:

    That synopsis! Plus that cover! Oh my! Looks amazing! And I love that it’s serial killer creepy, not paranormal creepy. I think I’ll like this one :)

  2. Mawa Mahima says:

    Yeah, that cover though. I could stare at it for ages. I love books that explore the limitations of humanity – it’s so philosophical and sci-fi. Very awesome. But hey, judging from the cover, you’d expect it to be a fast book with a roaring plot…so it’s a pity it’s a slow read.

    • Chiara says:

      It’s so beautiful! And it’s even prettier in person. The silver shines and the spine is orange. It’s definitely one of my favourites.

      The plot is a bit slow, but it really suits the book because it’s got the focus on nature vs. nurture, rather than running around trying to find the other clones. If you like books that explore human nature, I’d definitely recommend this one to you!

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