Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’.
There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.
When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?
I have a small confession to make. I am fascinated by serial killers. Like, to a point that some might consider it unhealthy. I don’t harbor fantasies of killing anyone. It’s nothing like that. I have just always been drawn in by the ass-backwards truth behind it all – most of them have a genius (or near genius) IQ and yet, they do things that suggest they should be wearing a helmet. And knee pads. Maybe some shin guards while we’re at it.
Well, one day, I was cruising Twitter and happened across what I consider to be one of the most beautifully haunting book covers of 2013. Seriously, I would love to get it printed up in poster size and hang it on my office wall. The cover to Project Cain caught my eye in a big bad way and I was instantly curious. Then it felt like Christmas Day. This super gorgeous cover is the doorway to a book about the government secretly cloning serial killers. SCORE! That was all it took. I was all in. I requested the advanced copy for it and was stupid excited when I got approved.
I started reading this book as soon as it hit my Kindle and I was instantly pulled in. As most of you know from my endless raving, I am a big nerdy fan of The Collector by Victoria Scott. Project Cain is written in much the same way – from the POV of a teenager. He thinks and speaks like a teenager, which kind of makes the book fly by. He’s got a minor case of A.D.D., I think, but the story flows smoothly. He bounces a bit but in his defense, he’s learning things about his life that are a little much to process all at once. He’s very clever and witty. Charming. He has this innocence about him. Or…ignorance, I guess. Ignorance that is not his fault, mind you, but it is certainly there.
As the mystery unfolds, you learn right along with him – who he is, who his father is, and what has been happening his whole life. The way the writing is done, you are completely bombarded with scientific information, but because it is coming out of the mouth of a “kid”, it’s given to you in such a way that pretty much anyone could understand it. The author doesn’t speak above the reader’s head, making this a book that would be ideal for any audience.
Throughout the entire book, you are hit with these moments that make you just stop dead in your tracks. Lots of twists and turns, lots of unexpected surprises. From cover to stunning cover, Project Cain was a complete page burner.
Overall, I am giving Project Cain 5 much deserved stars! I loved the book just as much as I love the cover. It’s a unique idea written in a unique format, all resulting in an outstanding story.
I do know that Project Cain is a companion novel of sorts to Cain’s Blood. However, I have no read Cain’s Blood. That one is in my constantly growing To Be Read pile.