11 February 2013

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Release Date: 26 February 2013
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon

Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...
You have a genetic twin--an alternate personality--and only one of you can go on to live in this society. Kersh has walled itself in and created a world where survival of the fittest reigns supreme.  The ultimate test of a good citizen is the ability to kill your Alt.  With that kind of premise, who couldn't be drawn to this story? I certainly was.

Dualed is one of those titles that hooked me with its seemingly unique and interesting premise.  The idea of a strong female protagonist, a story with less emphasis on romance, and a cut-throat world pulled me in the first time I heard about it.
I've buried nearly everyone I love. 
So begins the story of West, a young woman whose family members have all died before her save her brother Luc.  I liked West from the beginning.  She's a strong young woman whose rough edges are softened by doubt and loss.  I felt like the way that the story is written really allows you into her head and to experience the reality of her world through the eyes of someone experienced yet so very naive. If I had to pick a favorite element of the story, she was definitely it.  I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen to her.

The world that Ms. Chapman has built is solid and realistic without too many overwhelming details.  I felt like I had a good sense of how the world felt to someone walking through it on a daily basis and my imagination could easily take the descriptions and run with it.  The contrast between mundane daily life and the fight scenes was, for me, a well-written juxtaposition that provided just enough excitement to keep the story moving while we're inside West's head. I struggled a bit with some of West's decisions and I wish we could have gotten a little more insight into her thoughts as she made them, but overall I felt like I got to know her pretty well.

I do wish that I could have gotten to know some of the side characters more.  Chord, for one, had a lot of potential to add to West's story because he has known her for such a long time.  He seemed...convenient at times--more of a helpful stranger than a long-time friend and potential love interest.  I also found myself curious about West's Alt.  West puts off looking for her for such a long time and I found myself wanting to know more about what was going on on her side. It's a case of there being two sides to the story and I just found myself curious.

This is definitely a highly engaging read that pulled me in start to finish.  Definitely worth the time that I spent reading it and definitely a book that I'll be on the lookout for the sequel to.

1 comment:

Gina @ My Precious said...

I'm right in the middle of reading this one now. Its nice to know you enjoyed it. The premise is crafty and unique. I'm not sure if I'm a huge fan of all the information dropping in the first part of the book. I do like West, but I'm super bothered by her pushing Chord away. I understand why, just don't agree with it. I feel like she should honor her promise to her brother.

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