Thursday, February 14, 2013

Book Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman

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Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Genre: Dystopian Thriller
Source: e-ARC via NetGalley
Challenge(s): Debut Author, Dystopian, Netgalley

You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

I’ve been waiting so long for Dualed. Literally for months I’ve been dying to read it, so when I got approved on NetGalley, there may have been some screaming involved. While I wasn’t disappointed, it was drastically different from what I was expecting.

Going in I was under the impression that it would be a fast-paced, thrilling, butt-kicking adventure. The synopsis even says “fast-paced action”,but after the first chapter things slow down. Luckily this worked out better than if it had been fast throughout. Instead it was intense and focused. Similar to The Hunger Games, there’s lots of thinking and strategizing, as opposed to constant bloodshed.

I really liked West for the most part. I’ve heard quite a few reviewers complain that she’s a weak heroine, but I think that’s what I liked most about her; the fact that she was flawed. Throughout the book she’s at war with herself, doubting her abilities. But in the end she overcomes that struggle.

One thing I was disappointed by was the world building. Elsie built this disturbing world, but never went into very deep detail about it. I had so many questions before I ever started the book, and came out with even more than I’d started with. I was also expecting the plot to focus more on West possibly discovering the history and uncovering some jaw-dropping secrets along the way, but the story went a completely different direction.

The writing was outstanding. It was strong and eloquent. Each word held meaning. For a debut author, Elsie Chapman did an outstanding job. It’s not very often that I stop to reread passages, but that was frequently happening with Dualed. It was thought-provoking in an unexpected way, and helped me see things in a new light.

coverthoughts

I really love this cover. Everything about it sends chills down my spine, especially the shadow. Creepy! And it’s a great portrayal of the overall feel of the book. I also like the intense font and color of the name, which make it pop against the dark and dreary background.

recommenations
 HUNGER GAMES, THE83068579275658

Sorta Messy
Mild Language & Sexual Content, Heavy Violence: (Since the whole premise is killing your identical twin, expect lots of blood. With that in mind, it isn’t nearly as gory as I was expecting, but it’s still a good idea to keep it for more mature readers)

2 comments:

  1. I kind of like books with strategizing, but it's disappointing when you expect fast paced, action filled scenes. I'm not sure what to think about West, but I will have to make up my mind about her once I get to read this book :)

    Great review.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. YES! I agree! The worldbuilding was definitely really underwhelming and unremarkable at times, and I did have a huge problem with West because she was such a hypocrite! I get what Elsie was trying to accomplish, but overall it came off a bit annoying to me. However, I'm totally glad that you liked that aspect of West a lot! :D

    ReplyDelete

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