“The Lost Girl” by Sangu Mandanna
3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Eva is illegal. She is an Echo of another’s loved one; she can be destroyed, unraveled just because of what her creation stands for: a replacement. Eva is an Echo, a being created out of the DNA of another human. Families that are afraid to lose loved ones, and are rich enough, have Echos created. DNA of that loved one is taken and an Echo of them woven, and if that human is ever to die before their time, the replica is put in their place. No longer does anyone have to endure the loss of a most beloved daughter, son, mother, father, or grandparent. Everything is great except for the fact that Echos are illegal, and severe punishment for the Echo as well as its owners are in place. But as long as no one finds out…
Eva knows what she is, that if anyone knew who or what she is that it could mean the end of her and her “family.” She has been raised by people assigned to watch over her, teach her how to be like her original. Despite what she is, Eva’s protectors love her and she loves them. Their job is to teach her all that her original is learning; she is given her originals diaries to know what has happened in the girl’s life; she learns her mannerisms, her habits, Eva knows everything about the girl. But Eva wants to be more than just a replacement, she want to be more than an Echo: she wants to be Eva.
All her hopes and dreams, though, are shattered when her original dies in a tragic car accident in India. Before she knows it everything has changed, and now her life is in danger. As Eva assumes her original’s life, she finds many things out about herself, and about her existence. Will she ever have a chance to live her own life, love those she chooses to love, or will she be forever fated to live as an emulation of something real? Can this lost girl ever be found?
“The Lost Girl” by Sangu Mandanna was a new concept to me being a spin-off of “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. I have not read “Frankenstein” so I don’t know whether “The Lost Girl” does it justice or not, but I really enjoyed this story. I thought Eva was an interesting character, and I didn’t mind at all reading about her and being in her head unlike certain female characters (Triss and Katnis Everdeen). The whole concept of the book is interesting in itself. I mean who would you be, and what would you do if you were in Eva’s shoes? She cannot exert her own freewill, she could be killed at any moment not because of what she did but what she is, and even if she would allow herself to fall in love, she wouldn’t be allowed to stay with him. Overall, her life kind of stinks.
I also found Eva’s family and her relationship with them to be really cute and I liked the scenes they were in; Sean was an interesting person, too. I really enjoyed him as a character and hope that he is in the next book if Sangu Mandanna writes a conclusion. Another thing I really enjoyed was Eva’s original’s family. They at first were hesitant to get super close to Eva, but after a while the little boy and girl and Eva all became very close, and that was just darling. Overall, I think that Sangu Mandanna created a very enjoyable book for science fiction lovers, as well as fantasy lovers.