Review copy provided by Tor Books.
Usually when a book is compared to a mass media property, whether I love or hate the mass media property, I find the comparison inaccurate to the point of annoyance, because the comparison is there for people who are not me. Specifically, it is there to lure in people whose main points of comparison are all filmed, who think entirely in terms of filmed media, which are mostly not all that similar to written media in how I enjoy either.
In this case, however, several of the reasons I enjoy Orphan Black–barring Tatiana Maslany’s astonishing acting skills–were entirely present in False Hearts, and the comparison was completely apt. And I love Orphan Black. So: wow. Go figure.
Tila and Taema are formerly conjoined twins, formerly residents of a semi-primitive cult, now cured of both conditions and living in the San Francisco of the future, a peaceful city of the new nation of Pacifica. Taema believes that she knows her sister better than anyone in the world–until Tila shows up soaked in blood, with the police on her heels. All the evidence points to her as that rare bird, an actual murderer rather than someone who can get her violent impulses out in medically assisted virtual parlors. Reconciling that with the sister she knows–and diving into an underworld she never cared to explore–becomes Taema’s mission. She needs to prove to herself and the police either that Tila is as innocent as she believes, or that she didn’t really know her sister at all.
So you have the sibling relationships, you have the murky past, you have the running about future adventure stuff, you have a certain amount of bio-SF albeit along a different axis than in Orphan Black, you have a strong acceptance of differences but also understanding that none of it is simple…really. The comparison is not a bad one. And yet it does so with book nature, not with false cinematic consciousness. So okay, good then.
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