Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed (Dualed, #1)Title: Dualed 
Author: Elsie Chapman
Publisher:  Random House 
Publishing Date: February 26th 2013
Pages: 292
Genre:  YA Science Fiction- Thriller
Series: Dualed #1
Source: Audio

In the city of Kersh, everyone must eliminate their genetic Alternate twin, raised by another family, before their twentieth birthday. West Grayer, 15, has trained as a fighter, and has one month to hunt and kill her Alt. A tragic misstep shakes her confidence. Guilty, grieving, she feels unworthy, runs from her Alt and from love - both can destroy her.

This book has been on my TBR list for quite a while. I was finally able to listen to it on audio and  I found the book to be interesting and a bit thrilling. The plot was original and I was invested in the story. The book wasn't perfect and it had some problems in the believable category but it was quite entertaining.  The main issue I did have with the book was the character building. I think I would have loved the book instead of just enjoying and liking the book if I could have found some kind of reader/character relationship.

West is a 16 year old girl who lives in a future world of murder or die. Each child is one of two who are born of four parents. Anywhere from 10-20 years of age they are called to battle their twin to death, winning a spot in the world. The idea of this horrific world is that only the strongest to survive. West is called to battle her twin, this is the story of West and her fight to survive to live in a world that is evil. The only thing keeping West going.... a childhood friend, a friend who needs her to live. 

I really thought this book was clever, entertaining, and a bit sadistic. I can't imagine the mind that imagined a world of twins killing each other. Really evil for sure but it makes for an excellent story. There were a few things that were unbelievable and a bit left unexplained but for the most part this was a very original and intriguing story line. In a world of many many good books, this one stands out for the plot alone. 

The story didn't always feel well thought out but it was well written. I wasn't ever bored and I was fully invested, needing to get to the end to see how it all played out. The story advanced at a very fast rate and I was kept guessing throughout much of the story.  It was pretty easy to determine the outcome, but how the outcome would come about was questionable. Like I said, I was never bored. 

The character building did leave me wanting for more. I didn't hate the characters and for the most part, I think they fit well into this world. I do feel, though, because of the world West lived in, it was very difficult to get close to her. She was cold, blocked off from feeling, determined to be alone in her  fight for survival, and she plain out refused help when she desperately needed it. She was strong, smart, and determined, but I wanted just a bit more emotions of the softer kind. 

I actually cared for her friend, Chord very much. Much more than I did for West.  Chord felt genuine and I really loved the way he cared for and protected West. He lost everyone in his family and West is all he had left. He was sweet, caring, and just pretty awesome. 

The love story was so secondary in this story, it was almost not there. I could see from the beginning there would be romance. Chord clearly cared for West and vice versa. West was not ready to admit her feelings to herself, but I could see them there. So there was a definite romance but it was slow, sweet, and so very innocent. It fell in so well with the characters and the story. 

There was plenty of action, thrills, and suspense in this book. It was a good read and I will definitely follow through with the series. There are a few places for improvement but over all a good solid read. 

A good beginning to a very hopeful series. I can't wait to read more. 

Elsie Chapman

I grew up in Prince George, BC, before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a BA in English Literature. I currently live in Tokyo, Japan with my husband and two kids, where I write to either movies on a loop or music turned up way too loud (and sometimes both at the same time).
I’m repped by The Chudney Agency, and my debut novel, DUALED, is published by Random House and available now. A sequel, DIVIDED, will be published May 27th, 2014.
Find me on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
I’m also a contributing member of Friday the Thirteeners, its tumblr site, and The Lucky 13s group author blogs.

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