Project Cain by Geoffrey GirardProject Cain by Geoffrey Girard

Project Cain

byGeoffrey Girard

Paperback | September 2, 2014

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Jeff discovers he’s a serial killer clone—and he’s got to track down others like him before it’s too late in this Bram Stoker Award–nominated novel, a thrilling YA companion to Cain’s Blood.

This dark, literary thriller is a story about blood: specifically, the DNA of the world’s most notorious serial killers, captured and cloned by the Department of Defense to develop a new “breed” of bio-weapons. The program is now in Stage Three—with dozens of young male clones from age ten to eighteen kept and monitored at a private facility without any realization of who they really are. Some are treated like everyday kids. Others live prescribed lives to replicate the upbringing of their DNA donors. All wonder why they can’t remember their lives before age ten.

When security is breached and the most dangerous boys are set free by the now-insane scientist who created them, only one young man can help find the clones before their true genetic nature grows even more horrific than the original models: a fifteen-year-old boy, an every-boy…who has just learned that he is the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer.
Title:Project CainFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.1 inPublished:September 2, 2014Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442476982

ISBN - 13:9781442476981


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Could Have Been Great Maybe 2.5... This book was actively boring. The beginning and end were okay, but the writing wasn't good. Also for a book based on clones of serial killers I expected there to be some kind of action throughout the story, but the middle 200 pages were just so boring. The most interesting parts of this book were when they started talking about the actual serial killers that the clones came from. It was a cool idea with bad execution.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Missed potential I’m one of those weird people who is fascinated by serial killers. I used to read all the true crime novels our tiny book store had, I love Criminal Minds and so on. So when I heard about Project Cain I was excited. Serial killer clones? A chance to really examine the debate of nature vs nurture? It sounded like an intense, action packed read and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Unfortunately it didn’t work out quite as well as I hoped. The style of this book is very straightforward. Which is great for the parts where the reader is learning about the different serial killers and their histories. Sometimes there’s a lot of horrible information to get out and Girard doesn’t tip toe around it. He spells in right out for the reader, which I appreciated. That straightforward writing style, however, also contributed to a very action light book. Maybe it’s my fault for expecting a lot of action, but you would think a story about clones of the world’s most notorious serial killers on the run would be more action heavy. Instead, however, Project Cain takes place primarily in a hotel room. Jeff Jacobson (our protagonist) is a clone of Jeffrey Dahmer and is terrified by the revelation that he shares the exact same DNA as a serial killer, so he runs. He attaches himself to a FBI detective – Castllio – and together they begin searching for the other escaped clones. And this is pretty much where the excitement ends. As soon as Jeff teams up with Castllio he spends all his time in one of two places – a car or a hotel room. There’s a lot of talking, a lot of reflecting about why his adopted father would have initiated such a project and a lot of staring at a cell phone trying to guess where some guys he knows nothing about would have run to. I understand the investigation parts are necessary but I thought they could have been broken up by some more action or drama. Something to really get your pulse pounding. I was also disappointed by the missed opportunity for discussion. Project Cain was in a perfect position to examine the discussion of nature versus nurture. The very thing the government was curious about when they started their top-secret experiments in the book. But despite Jeff’s constant fear that he may turn into his namesake, it’s pretty clear from very early on that he’s not going to. This book leans heavily on the nurture side. So heavily that there is never a moment, in my opinion, where I thought it might swing the other way. That’s fine if that’s what the author believes but I think there was a possibility here to a) build suspense and b) facilitate discussion but that just didn’t happen. Overall Project Cain wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t the book I wanted it to be. The book I thought it could be. There’s an adult companion novel told from the detective’s point of view (Cain’s Blood), which might be more thrilling as the detective leaves the hotel room more often and in Project Cain we don’t know where he goes. I’ll have to check it out and see if it’s more my style. Recommendation: If you’re looking for a book for the teenage boy in your life, Project Cain might work but I think there are better options out there. This and other reviews at More Than Just Magic (
Date published: 2013-10-19

Editorial Reviews

"This book is an absolute grabber from the get-go. Geoffrey Girard has taken an outrageous idea and made it utterly and terrifyingly believable. Fortified by solid historic and scientific foundations, the story is as convincing as it is frightening, with enough twists and surprises to keep even the most jaded reader captivated."