Monday, July 15, 2019

The Survival of Molly Southbourne, by Tade Thompson


(Horror; Molly Southbourne) In this sequel, a clone of the original Molly tries to live a quiet life, but that’s not easy when people are looking for her and most of them want to kill her. (19,569 words; Time: 1h:05m)

You don’t need to read the original novella to appreciate this one, but if you read this one first, it will definitely spoil the earlier one. See related articles on

"The Survival of Molly Southbourne," by (edited by Carl Engle-Laird), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2019.401 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Although the protagonist isn’t really Molly Southbourne, she actually was the first-person narrator of the framing story of the first novella, “The Murders of Molly Southbourne,” so there’s a good bit of continuity between the two books.

As the title suggests, this book about about what “Molly” has to do to survive after the death of the real Molly Southbourne. But since she isn’t really Molly, one can argue that the real plot is about her figuring out who she really is and then acting on that. Above all other things, she is not a murderer, and that’s ultimately what makes the biggest difference.

It’s quite a revelation that the mollys were murderous because Molly herself was trained to be a killer and to kill mollys on sight. But Tamara learned to approach her clones with love, and so that’s what they start off with. This is consistent with what we saw in the first book: Molly and a molly played together peacefully when she was about five, although after a few days, the molly went berserk. Then her parents started training Molly to kill, and, from that point on, new mollys were always hostile.

There’s still quite a bit of mystery here to resolve. What’s the story with the tamaras? Who were the people who answered at the mysterious phone number? And, since it’s 1989, the Soviet Union is collapsing, so what will happen after that? I’ll be surprised if there aren’t more sequels, and I’ll definitely look forward to them.

Con: Molly’s only goal is survival, and she never fully understands what she’s up against nor learns whom she can trust. That makes the whole thing less satisfying. This is pretty clearly a middle episode, and it’s hard for those to be outstanding.

Other Reviews: Search Web,
Tade Thompson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)