Book Review: Surrogate by David Bernstein

22880235Title: Surrogate
Author: David Bernstein
Genre: Dark Fiction, Horror
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 2,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Rebecca Hardwick wants nothing more than to start a family with her husband. But when a series of tragedies occur, she is left unable to have children by natural means.

Jane Nurelle is in an abusive relationship filled with beatings, drinking and drugs. But when she learns of her pregnancy, she is determined to turn her life around, even if it means resorting to violence.

Through an unlikely series of events, these two women come face-to-face with a notable scientist who has perfected a way for couples to have biologically matched children through the process of human cloning. But his service comes at a price…and the women share more in common than they ever thought possible.

Surrogate is an unforgettable tale of life, love, revenge and maternal instinct.

I’m not sure if I even liked Surrogate. I mean, in terms of the quality of writing, it hit the jackpot, like most of DarkFuse’s publications. However, in terms of story…While original, and creative, the story was just too odd at times, too random, to be truly enjoyed.

Take the first chapter for example. Our main character, Rebecca Hardwick, is out gardening when she gets hit by a bullet coming out of nowhere. She loses one of her ovaries (it was cancerous and they discovered that during surgery) and will never be able to have children of her own. We focus on Rebecca’s journey for a while, while she struggles with depression and her husband Tom tries everything to cheer her up. Then their doctor suggests a new treatment: making a clone of Rebecca, aging the clone, and then impregnating the clone. It sounds like science-fiction, and Tom is reluctant to believe the doctor’s story, but Rebecca begs him take the doctor up on his offer.

Then, in one breezingly short chapter, we meet Jane, a woman stuck in an abusive relationships. She’s pregnant and determined to give her child the very best, to turn her life around. But her husband won’t let her go to the hospital when she feels the baby coming. She murders her husband, and ends up in a fatal accident.

But Jane wakes up again…in the body of Rebecca’s clone. She swears to take revenge on the institute that put her in this clone’s body (although not entirely sure why) and to take back her baby, which she believes is the child Tom and Rebecca are raising. Suspense is high from that point onward, and Jane turns out to be a completely delusional ego-maniac who will stop at nothing to have a child of her own.

While entertaining, the story is just too random. Why does Rebecca get hit by a bullet if it’s barely mentioned again? Then why do we even get that scene? How is it possible Jane woke up in the clone’s body when no one else did? Never explained. The dialogue is stiff at times as well, and ultimately, the story falls short.

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