Bringing Molly Southbourne’s story to a bloody end
Whenever Molly Southbourne bled, a murderer was born. Deadly copies, drawn to destroy their creator, bound by a legacy of death. With the original Molly Southbourne gone, her remnants drew together, seeking safety and a chance for peace. The last Molly and her sisters built a home together, and thought they could escape the murder that marked their past.
But secrets squirm in Molly Southbourne’s blood — secrets born in a Soviet lab and carried back across the Iron Curtain to infiltrate the West. What remains of the Cold War spy machine wants those secrets back, and to get them they’re willing to unearth the dead and destroy the fragile peace surrounding the last copies of Molly Southbourne.
The Molly Southbourne novellas were my introduction to Tade Thompson’s writing, and they have cemented him as a must-read author. The series boasts a fascinating premise, one that has been developed over the course of the three novellas. Bringing it all together very nicely, I really enjoyed this satisfying conclusion.
Please note, this review has a couple of spoilers for the previous novellas.
Thompson has create a really interesting premise and twist on clones, and in The Legacy of Molly Southbourne, he builds nicely on what has come before. The original Molly Southbourne is dead. She sacrificed herself at the end of the previous novella, at the hands of one of her copies. A handful of copies have been living together, trying to make things work, and trying to control their proliferation — especially because it appears as though each subsequent generation of copies is a bit more… rough around the edges, a bit more raw. Not only that, but they are also trying to ensure the survival of the existing Mollys, as they are beset on all sides by different predators.
One of the predators circling closer to the Mollys is Myke, a bounty hunter of some kind: she has been sent to eliminate the Mollys, and is willing to deploy some pretty devastating tools to get it done (recall that a new Molly is created from any cast-off Molly blood). As the story progresses, we learn who Myke actually is, and get a bit more context on her past and also the inception of the Molly project (well, it’s not just Mollys, but as she’s been the focus of the series, that’ll suffice as an explanation). I enjoyed reading Myke’s perspective — she’s lived a tough and varied life, and her cynicism is well-earned, and the Cold War component was interesting and well-incorporated.
If you’re a fan of the first two novellas, then I’d be surprised if you haven’t already pre-ordered this finale. If you have not read any of the books (but for some reason still read through this review), then I would highly recommend you pick up The Murders of Molly Southbourne. I’m sure you’ll be hooked.
Definitely recommended, The Legacy of Molly Southbourne is a satisfying ending to an imaginative, engaging trilogy.
Tade Thompson’s The Legacy of Molly Southbourne is due to be published by Tor.com in North America and in the UK, on May 17th.
Also on CR: Reviews of The Murders of Molly Southbourne and The Survival of Molly Southbourne
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Review copy received via NetGalley