Yes... it was an amazing book, had me a bit red eyed, I loved the drifting sense of the writing, the characterizations... etc. However, there were a few big flaws that had me really bothered:
That would never happen. Not because our ethics will never degrade to that point - obviously, it can, look at various genocides across history - but because it doesn't make practical sense. So, you first spent plenty of money on a propaganda campaign to make this palpable to mainstream civilization. You then spend plenty of money and resources perfection human cloning. And then
, you spend plenty of money and resources raising each invididual clone in a minimum of circumstances for food, hydration and medical suchness until an appropriate physical maturity for harvest, yet in this book, the further step of an excellent education, psychological fitness, and possessions was made. More resources.
Now... look at how the money/resources could have instead been used to develop more cost efficient ways of getting good organs. You could be working on things such as the present-day artificial heart, which are feasible (and probably a fair bit cheaper to develop and "manufacture".) But let's say that doesn't work. Clearly, they can clone. How far of a step is it to cloning individual organs? Why not just shoot for that, which would be far more cost effective? Or, even failing that
, why not just create anencephalics so you don't have to spend as much money supporting them, and then not having to deal with the public policy/propoganda expenses?
And, as a side note: we discussed organ harvestation in my philosophy class as a reason to end a life... An interesting statistic he gave us was that if, after a natural death, organ harvestation was mandatory, versus only when there is donor consent, even discluding those organs that could not be donated due to problems (an alcoholic's liver, a smoker's lungs/heart, cancer patients, etc.) something like 2/3 of the organ deficiencies in this country would be solved! So, if this sort of policy was instituted (as I would think would already be the case in a country driven to cloning...) the majority of the problem would be solved. Not all of it, but it would be less urgent...
This bothered me immensely. If you take that whole situation as a given... sure. But you can't use it as a "warning" against cloning, since it's simply not cost effective, and so any government wouldn't really be keen on it when there's more feasible alternatives (that also present less ethical difficulties to the public... but that can be overturned with good propoganda so that's not much.)
Another problem. Repeat donations. I might just be missing something stupid here, but generally speaking, you lose a major organ, you die. So what are they going in repeatedly for? There's only a few things you can donate while still having time to live (briefly) between donations... kidneys, lung lobes, etc. (Not counting blood/marrow since that can be donated by anyone.) How does this work? This bothered me so
much... so if I'm doing something stupid, yell at me before I get worked up about it.
The final problem I found was that there was no struggle
. Everything was blindly accepted. Yes, there was conditioning to that state present... but there was nothing in these otherwise strong, independant characters, no sign of "Let's fight the system" or "This is immoral" or "The people we are dying to save are no more deserving than us of life" or... anything. At best? "Let's get a deferral for a few years." So, this novel felt very, very hollow at me at the core. Blind acceptance. Yes, most people would, given the situation presented in the novel, just follow along with this set "fate". But not everyone in even the most conditioned of situations...
So, I give it a 4/5. Emotionally powerful, but little else.