Project Tau (Projects #1) by Jude Austin - Book Review

Write on: Wed, 29 Apr 2020 by  in Natasha's Reviews Read 2570

Kalin Taylor is an ordinary college student who just wants to make his way up from the bottom of the totem pole. In an attempt to be initiated into a frat house, he enters the grounds of the top-secret, actually-not-so-secret GenTech facility that holds and trains the human clone Project Tau. Cloning humans is possible but still difficult in this world, and such clones are worth a lot of money because they don’t have the same rights that a natural-born human does and so can be used as workers or soldiers doing things that humans don’t want to do. The clones are also often modified with claws or special strength and speed so they can do things that humans aren’t able to do.

Unfortunately, Kalin only makes it a few steps onto the grounds before he is caught by GenTech and forced to agree to take part in their research for a couple of weeks. But soon he realizes he’s getting into more than he signed up for. The scientists give him body modifications and call him Project Kata, treating him as if he were a clone with memory implants. Soon he’s not even sure that he is Kalin Taylor. Still, he’s defiant, and both he and Tau are constantly being punished and treated inhumanly – or in ways that would be inhumane if they were human. Will Kata and Tau be able to escape before they’re split up and sold to the highest bidder?

Project Tau by Jude Austin is an exciting, fast-paced read that just about any science fiction fan will appreciate. The world-building is well-done and introduced gradually so it’s not overwhelming, but the highlight of this book is certainly the characterization. The novel includes time jumps that provide space for realistic character development as Kalin (now Kata) adjusts to his new existence and helps Tau to lose his naivety. Yet, my favorite part of Project Tau is the character development that occurs in a few of the GenTech scientists. This book skillfully shows how easily people can justify terrible things to themselves and the impact that just one questioning person who’s willing to try to make up for their mistakes can have.

It’s hard for me to decide on my least favorite aspect of Project Tau because I can think of nothing about this book that I actively disliked. However, if there’s one thing about this book that may have diminished my positive reading experience to some degree, it’s the third-person point of view. Being able to see inside everyone’s head at once makes it possible for the reader to understand the various motivations and viewpoints of each of the key characters in the plot. While I do appreciate this, I think I may have felt a bit closer to the characters had the author chosen to use a first-person point of view.

Another interesting decision by the author was for the prologue to be a flash-forward that takes place between chapters 13 and 14, meaning it contains large spoilers that decrease the suspense of chapters 1 through 13. Personally, I appreciated this because it meant I was able to enjoy the ride more without being scared about what the outcome might be. But I can see how this sort of prologue may lessen the enjoyment of the book for some readers.

Despite the scientists’ constant reminders to Kata that profane words are “not acceptable language in today’s society,” they are used liberally throughout the book. There is also mention of one consensual sexual encounter and of rape, though neither is described. The book is very well edited as I did not notice a single typo or grammar issue. Because I enjoyed Project Tau greatly and can find little in it to dislike, I give it a score of 4.5 out of 5. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the potential ramifications of human cloning and other future technologies or who simply enjoys a good fast-paced sci-fi novel. I do not recommend this book to anyone who may be bothered by depictions of violence, torture, or strong language.

I received a free copy of this book through OnlineBookClub in return for an honest review.

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 April 2020 20:08

Natasha's passion for reading was kindled by her parents and the local library that allowed her family to checkout 50 books at a time. She first fell in love with fantasy through Arthurian retellings whereas her love for science fiction began with Star Wars novels. Nowadays, she still spends her free time reading but also gaming, running a blog (natrosette), and obsessing over TV shows. Maybe if she spent as much time reading as she does looking for books to read, she'd actually make a dent in her TBR.