Such a great follow up to FitzSimmons's previous book, Constance. I'm glad we got more of the story!
I've had this on my Kindle a long time and finally got to it. Glad I did. It was quite awhile ago that I read the first book in the series but the premise is so unique that it came back to me quickly.
Chance is a clone. His first death occured when the kidnapping of Chance and his brother Marley went south. Since then, he pushes the limit of what a body can do since he knows that there is another clone waiting to be born with his memories. When he has his newest revival, under arrest for a murder that he doesn't remember, he realizes that he needs to dig deep and uncover the last 5 years of his life.
I enjoyed it and sped through the reading. Will definitely read #3 in the series.
First, I'd like to thank NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read the ARC of Chance, by Matthew Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons is becoming one of my "buy the next one right away" authors, previously known for his Gibson Vaughn series (one of my favorites). Chance is not quite a sequel to his previous book (Constance), but is set in the same time frame (2040). It also deals with what has become possible in that time period - human cloning. Those looking for the "further adventures" of Con D'Arcy from the prior novel will have to wait quite a while in this book for her to make her (inevitable?) appearance. Meanwhile, Chance, the titular character, has "survived" a kidnapping that also involved his older brother, Marley. Chance's clone came out of that experience a broken man, and now is famous through a series of social media "stunts", where he performs dangerous stunts that often result in him waking up in yet another new cloned body. The book follows Chance as he tries to discover who kidnapped him and his brother. Lots of twists and turns, as well as a lot of philosophical and ethical issues for the reader to consider. Fitzsimmons is a very talented writer, and I highly recommend both the Gibson Vaughn series and his "Clone novels". Great reads!
Matthew FitzSimmons is a damn good author. I loved his Gibson Vaughn series, and now he’s working on a different set about cloning. This might be a completely different set of circumstances, but he works through both sets with many of the same tricks.
One thing is for certain — when it comes to figuring out all the twists and turns, it’s basically impossible. And that’s because he writes things that are almost convoluted but stay enjoyable.
This story of twins, clones, and lots of lies was a blast. I can’t wait to go back and read the first book in this series.
I admire Matthew FitzSimmons’ talent for writing characters who exist on the margins. I loved the Gibson Vaughn series. I embraced the first book in this Series. Chance was a tougher read for me.
Would I have enjoyed this book more if the characters weren’t all so negative and self-absorbed? Probably. Thinking that there was a deeper strata in Chance’s personality, I read on believing that no one could be so narcissistic, so self-destructive - a hint of his humanity could have been exposed earlier in the story.
There is a lot to this story - all of FitzSimmons’ books are thought provoking and this one is no exception. However, it was much harder to cut through. The inhabitants of the pages were equally unlikable. Putting that aside I thought the issue of cloning got short shrift and much more attention was paid to whether a clone can be reinstated over and over. Who gets the right to the do-overs? Is the criterion being rich enough? - pay the fee and you can stockpile multiples and do it again and again. What about the moral issue? Can it ever be justified? Lots to think about which never really got out of the starting blocks because there was a story to be told about two brothers who were killed.
So thinking about this, I didn’t like the characters, didn’t much care for the premise, thought the story was superfluous to the bigger question but really respect the writing and the underlying issues that never find answers because I am not sure there are answers. Matthew FitzSimmons just is an extraordinary writer. Thank you Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for a copy.
In the 2030’s human cloning has been perfected by a company called Palingenesis, but only the very wealthy can afford to have a clone ready to replace them when they die. To keep their memories current, clients are encouraged to download them at least every three months so their new brains can cope when they are revived in a new body.
When he was sixteen Chance Harker and his brother Marley were both killed in a kidnapping gone wrong. As Palingenesis’s chief marketing director, their father Brett Harker’s employee benefits included clones for his dependents under the age of 23, so Chance and Marley found themselves waking up in new cloned bodies. Marley was unable to cope with being a clone and committed suicide, while Chance lived recklessly carrying out ever more dangerous stunts to kill himself as many times as possible before he turned 23. His actions not only made him a social media phenomenon, but also caused outrage from the opponents of cloning, appalled at the thoughtless squandering of life as well as millions of dollars.
When Chance wakes up for the last time in a new clone, he discovers he didn’t die during a stunt, but apparently shot himself after killing a man. He has no recollection of why he would have killed a man he has never heard of, but is arrested for murder by the LAPD while still recovering in the clinic. When he discovers a link from the dead man to his boyhood kidnapping, Chance must not only fill in the blanks of his memory to discover if he killed a man, but also find out the truth behind the botched kidnapping.
While this novel works well as a stand-alone murder mystery in a scifi setting, cloning is not the main focus as it was in the previous novel ‘Constance’, which dealt much more with the complexities of cloning and the politics involved in this futuristic world ravaged by climate change. Constance herself makes only a brief walk-on appearance late in this novel, which may disappoint her many fans. While she was a character many could emphasise with, Chance is a flawed character, damaged by his and his brother murders and the effect it had on their parents. Although at first sight, he seems shallow and irresponsible, it isn’t too difficult to understand his motivation in living recklessly to seek attention and as the novel progresses his more caring side shows through. Less scifi and more thriller than Constance, this is nevertheless a gritty read with many twists and surprising revelations that will keep you guessing.
A murder-mystery with a sci-fi twist? Yes please! When I saw the second installment in the series came out, I couldn't wait to dive in.
Imaginative, twisty, and a little dark, in Chance we're again taken to a world where human cloning is real and we further explore the implications of unlimited clones for one individual. Refreshes, revivals, lags... so many clever concepts tie together as we begin by wonder, is a clone at fault for the sins of their predecessor? The main plot to solve a family mystery was solid, but I also enjoyed the other issues (ethical, social, political, etc.) presented. While cloning seems like such a scientific breakthrough, exploring all of its impacts is certainly thought provoking and I appreciated the addition of these questions.
Although the characters and storyline from the first book (Constance) were cleverly woven in, you wouldn't necessarily have to have read it to enjoy the second. With that being said, I would highly recommend you do, because it too is a great book!
4.5 stars. I really hope Fitzsimmons brings us back to this world again in future series!
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this digital copy.
A clone plays a dangerous game of life, death, memory, and murder in a twisting thriller by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Matthew FitzSimmons. Cancel all plans while reading - I inhaled this amazing book over one weekend and resented everything that kept me away from it! The writing was top notch and the characters were very real.
Chance is the sequel to Constance, a futuristic thriller published in 2021, about how human cloning can go wrong when the technology is controlled by the wrong people. I’d listened to the audiobook ahead of reading this ARC, and think it’s crucial to have read that one first, as while the protagonists are different, much of the complex plot here won’t make sense without the background. I’ll confess I enjoyed Constance more - partly because of the much more likeable main character, but also because that story was better paced, while this one took quite a while to get going and only really grabbed me towards the end. It’s still a clever twisty mystery which taunts the reader with the ethics of the cloning debate, without offering any definitive opinions either way.
Set in LA a couple of decades into the future, this introduces Chance, a billionaire’s son who was murdered as a teenager in a kidnapping gone wrong, and brought back as a clone with his consciousness restored. This wasn’t enough to stop his family disintegrating, and his brother from committing suicide, while Chance deals with his trauma by filming crazy stunts for his online fans, safe in the knowledge that if they don’t work, he can be reborn as another clone. Then he wakes from his latest restoration and is arrested for murder - but with no memory of who he has killed, or why. With an anti-clone mob baying for his blood, and evidence that his previous self actively hid things from him, Chance must return to scene of the crime which started it all - his own murder.
This was an accomplished thriller but which tried a little too hard to be clever, leaving me feeling that not all the knots got untangled by the end - it’s possible that this will continue into a third instalment, although it doesn’t need to. I liked the nearish-future aspects, like the way climate change and technology have altered LA and the way people live, without it being a major part of the plot. While the concept of people’s entire personality and memory being seamlessly transferred to a quantum computer and then back into a new body is medically implausible within the time frame suggested (actually, ever) if you let that part go, the implications are intriguing. Some of this one covers ethical issues raised in the first book, but then explores the reactions of ordinary people who can’t afford their own clone being faced with a spoilt brat happy to literally throw his life away without consequences.
Amnesia plot-lines have been done to death in psychological fiction in recent years, and this uses the same storytelling device as Constance to achieve the effect, just in a more original way than the usual head injury or repressed trauma - the protagonist is investigates the murder of themself but in a different body. It’s clever but you have to pay attention for it all to make sense. There’s a twist which I can’t reveal without spoiling it but let’s just say it involves the ring: I think I worked it out but am still confused, so hope that the final version clarified this better: if anyone who has read this knows what I’m referring to and can help clarify it, do comment or message me.
I’m swithering between three and four stars here, and settling on rounding up from 3.5, because I liked the way Constance was brought back into the story, and probably would carry on if this does become a series.
Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily.
Chance is available now.
Chance by Matthew Fitzsimmons is the follow-up novel to his excellent novel, Constance.
"Chance Harker has a large online following of his crazy stunts. Sometimes they don't go well and he dies. But he comes back as a clone to try again. He wakes up again and discovers that he's been accused of killing a man - Lee Conway. As Chance digs into what happened, he discovers the answers of what tore his family apart. And now he must stay ahead of the LAPD detectives and a growing mob to get to the final truth."
Cloning is not a new idea in sci-fi but Fitzsimmons poses some interesting questions about the societal impacts of human cloning. Intially, Chance is not a very likable character but as you get into the story you see the motivation for his stunts and his search for the truth. Constance from the first book is back in this one.
Great pick for readers of fast-paced sci-fi.
Can The Truth Redeem Two Dysfunctional Families
The kidnapper leader wants a data drive from Brett Harker. The leader sets of a meeting at night along the dead and stagnant Salton Sea to exchange Brett Harker's son for the data drive. The masked leader gets the data drive and sends Marley Harker back to his father. While he is returning, a shot rings out from across the lake. The novel picks up five years later with Chance, Marley’s younger brother, who was killed during the kidnapping and now definitely is living up to his name quite literally.
My main problem with this novel is the start of the main storyline. Chance, the protagonist, is a clone. The father of the original Chance was a senior executive at Palingenesis, the sole provider of cloning technology. As such, his family’s life insurance policy allows unlimited clone backups. Five years earlier, Chance and his older brother were killed during their kidnapping. After Chance was revived, he took up a life in search of fame and followers by staging live and documented events that could and often did result in his death. His next clone would continue the lifestyle. During this portion of novel, I had no clue where this novel was going. Finally, during an introspective moment, Chance reveals what he wants. From this point, the main storyline proceeds with all the elements of a mystery/thriller. Suspense is heighted by Chance needs to discover the truth in a hostile environment of anti-clone followers, kidnappers, several ruthless and senior Palingenesis executives, and a father who will not tell the whole truth. These combined with twists, turns, surprises quickly locked up my attention.
The B-storyline has a traumatic change. It occurs a little after the shift in the main storyline, but it is just as dramatic. He still keeps all the aspects of his character that were revealed before the change, as it is more like an unveiling of his inner character. The reader will see that Chance is more than just an egotistical narcissist that is his public persona. Chance became a more complex and interesting character. There even is a C-storyline in that the Chance at the end of the novel has significantly changed. These two storylines did enhance my reading enjoyment of this novel.
As for the reasons that turn off some readers on a book are very minimal for this book and should not be an issue for most readers. There are not any intimate scenes. Language is mostly rude than vulgar. There is violence, and some of it is described as it occurs, but it is not over the top. Lastly, some of the characters from the previous novel reappear in this novel in some interesting ways, but adequate backfill is provided so this novel can be read without reading that novel.
As for my perception of the novel, the only aspect I disliked was the beginning After reading the whole novel, I understand that the beginning was needed. This novel then turned into the complex thinking read that I like. I also liked the ending. Another criterion, by which I rate novels, is its ability to keep me reading, and this novel did quite well for me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. I have read six previous novels by this author, and he is in my Must-Read category. I recommend reading this novel, and I am looking forward to reading more novels by this author. I rate this novel with five stars.
I received a free prepublication e-book version of this novel through NetGalley from Thomas & Mercer. My review is based only on my own reading experience of this book. I wish to thank Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read and review this novel early.
Book Review: Chance (Constance #2) by Matthew FitzSimmons
Published by Thomas & Mercer, February 14, 2023
★★★★☆ (4.0 Stars)
Many readers were first introduced to author Matthew FitzSimmons in his debut novel, "The Short Drop" (2015), Book 1 of his Gibson Vaughn series, which was featured way back in 2015 as one of the first offerings on Amazon First Reads.
Ever since, I've read all five books of FitzSimmons' IT hacker and former marine protagonist, and was impressed by the author's creativity with fresh material in each and every action-packed iteration.
// Chance (Constance #2) by Matthew FitzSimmons (2023) //
Salton Sea, due southeast of Palm Springs, Southern California.
OFF THE FRAGMENTARY shorelines of the arid sea beds of that desolate dying sea, described in the book as "...the stillborn bastard of an engineering mishap...", - which is, per se, a real-life ecological curiosity, the kidnapping and murder of the sons of a "Palingenesis" executive triggers a tsunami of events.
Death. And possibly resurrection.
PALINGENESIS, the American human cloning company which five years prior in 2032 advertises that for US$25 million it would speed-grow a clone for private clients.
It all begins with combat troops...
The fertile mind of Mr. FitzSimmons, once again, manifests itself in positing the exploitation and commercialization of human cloning, deftly touching on the umbilical theories of consciousness and memory, inter-alia, should the science and technology be developed beyond the purview of sci-fi films.
And, not in insignificant terms, instances where the process could be horribly misused, even abhorrently abused by clone owners.
Predominant YA themes, sentiments and dialogue in line with teenage and early-twenty-something privileged protagonists with so-called one-percent parents, in simpler terms, the immature, despicable attitude of rotten spoiled brats, may not appeal to Gibson Vaughn readers.
I also found the plot far too compartmentalized, with all relations glued to the confines within the sphere of the cloning enterprise.
E.g. what would the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese do with the technology?
All these could be something in store for the author's future instalments (just as when he expanded Gibson Vaughn's exploits abroad in Book 4).
Review based on an advance reading copy courtesy of Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley.
Wow! I absolutely loved this book. I usually read thrillers, mystery and adult contemporary but I have found a new love for science fiction. The book gives us a glance at the future of human cloning, the chance of immorality and how humans vs clones can live peacefully or no not. Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy.
There were so many great twists and turns through this book that it didn't even matter that I predicted half of them. The world built by Matthew Fitzsimmons in Constance remains exciting and fascinating, and I love that this book, while focusing on a wholly separate story from Constance, continues certain plot threads past the scope of that original story. Constance was my favorite book from 2021, and I couldn't put Chance down. I plan to read the Gibson Vaughn series now because of how much I loved these two books.
Hell, when you're rich you can buy anything: justice, employment, love, but can you buy clones?
Why not as we allow entry into the complicated self destructing, globally changed climate driven, world of Chance from the Constance series.
I've not read the first book but I did enjoy the direction this one took with murder and accusations flying around.
Chance and his brother Marley were kidnapped and murdered five years ago. The family had one heck of an insurance policy-one in which clones take over. However, you only get so many chances in life. When you exceed those chances people may come knocing.
In fact, this idea that adrenaline rushed, parachute jumping, nutty kids are out there isn't surprising. What's surprising is the way in which this twist and turns throughout the emotionally driven section involving the ransom exchange and return.
Marley struggled with this return investment & succumbed to drowning with one request. Not to return!
Meanwhile, Chance took the gamble and played it out till the end until a technicality takes him off the list of suspects and turns into a riot.
Matthew has driven this one home in superb fashion with Abigail (Chance's mom) playing a keen role..
Can't wait to see what comes next!
Thank you to Matthew Fitzsimmons, Thomas & Mercer, Netgaglley for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
I absolutely loved Constance and Chance did not disappoint. Constance was my first real sci-fi book and I was thrilled at the chance (lol) to jump back into this world with Chance. This book was intriguing and kept me on my toes. I loved it!
Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and #NetGalley for the digital ARC of #Chance. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
I enjoyed Constance, the first book in this series, but I didn't LOVE it. Chance got my attention from the beginning and kept me interested to the very end. The story was more linear so easier to follow in my opinion. I like how it brought in characters and plot points from the first book, but it's not necessary to read it to understand and appreciate this book. I also like how this story incorporated current socio-economic and environmental issues to provide a glimpse of where our world may be heading.
Overall, an entertaining, roller-coaster ride of a read.
"Well I didn't ask to be born." Every child's lament at the unfairness of life is multiplied in this future-tech thriller. More quality writing from Matthew FitzSimmons
Chance by Matthew Fitzsimmons is the second book in the Constance series. In Chance, the story revolves around Chance, a rich boy who was kidnapped along with his brother. Chance and Marley were killed by their kidnappers, forcing them to become clones. Chance tries to come to terms with the kidnapping that he can't remember and he ends up being a suspect in a murder.
The story of Chance is a lot slower than Constance. It takes a lot longer to get to the point of the story because it lays out quite a lot of background information on Chance. It is also simpler than Constance was as Constance had political and social implications to her story, where Chance is just trying to save himself and remember his past. Con was also a more likable character than Chance is because Chance is a spoiled selfish man. However despite the differences, I enjoyed reading the story and trying to find out who the kidnappers were and why they kidnapped them in the first place. It was also interesting trying to piece together that plot line with the murder plot.
Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas and Mercer for the advanced copy of the book. The opinions are my own.
Set in the near future, Chance and his brother were kidnapped and murdered as teens. But don’t worry, his family is wealthy, which means they have an insurance policy - clones. Since his first revival, Chance has continued to play chicken with death, knowing a clone is always there if he loses. Life continues this way until one time, he wakes up and is accused of murder.
I was looking forward to reading this book, the second in a series. I read the first book, “Constance,” earlier this year and loved every moment of the book. The main character in “Constance,” Con, was a nuanced and well-developed character, which helped draw me into the world and the story. Unfortunately, this was not the case with Chance. I could not connect with him or the story, and it did not help that I anticipated most of the twists.
While I will continue to recommend “Constance” to all my SciFi-reading friends, “Chance” is one I will recommend with more caveats. It’s an exciting plot, a fast read, and the politics are compelling. However, the character development leaves much to be desired.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC to read and review.