Who counts as a person? A review of The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

Happy pub day to this thrill ride of a novel! I’ve never read a book by Sarah Gailey, so I was so excited when I got approved for their newest book, The Echo Wife. I started getting into the science fiction genre with the past couple of years, and this one just sounded so intriguing. Overall, this book was an incredible thrill ride from start to finish that I could barely put down — I read it in only two sittings!

Quick synopsis: Evelyn, the book’s narrator and an incredibly gifted and celebrated scientist whose career focuses on designing realistic clones, faces a dilemma when her ex-husband’s lover Martine — and the woman he cheated on Evelyn with — reaches out to her in a panic to come help her. When Evelyn arrives at the house, she finds her ex murdered. The catch — Martine is Evelyn’s clone, illegally designed and created by her ex-husband.

It’s a trippy, twisty set up for what becomes a creative, dark, yet delightful marriage between domestic thriller and classic science fiction. I’ve never read anything quite like it, so I was absolutely hooked from page one.

Evelyn and Martine are both not always likable, but I found them to be highly relatable, navigating the struggles of womanhood in its many forms: as a wife, ex, friend, and, in their case, a clone. This story forced me to think about the morality behind this science and what constitutes personhood. Was Martine as much of a person as Evelyn? Or are clones — designed for a specific purpose, whether it’s to be a realistic stand-in to protect a politician or, like Martine, to be the perfect wife — disposable? And like any good sci-fi, I found it both marvelously fictional yet also realistic enough it gave me chills thinking about this scenario happening in a near or not-so-near future.

I don’t want to give anymore away as to ruin any plot points, but if you enjoy science fiction or domestic thrillers, this is certainly a great book to consider. I also think this story resembles domestic thriller so much that this book would make an awesome introduction to readers new or unfamiliar to the sci-fi genre.

This book is officially out today, February 16th. Thank you to NetGalley and TOR for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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