Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed (Dualed, #1)
Released- Feb 26th 2013
Publisher-Random House Books 
Pre-order- Amazon / B & N 

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.

My Thoughts:
Kersh City is the last war-free zone in the world, but this world comes at a price.
Alts. Two identical children are born with two sets of parents. Each much raise their children to be the best killer.
Their Assignments are given between the ages of 10-20. You have 31 days to hunt down and kill your Alt before your Alt kills you. If neither one Completes by the 32nd day, you will both be terminated for your alternate code will self-detonate. Only one can survive. Kill or be killed.
Be the one, be worthy.

Well hell! I knew that I wanted to read this book, but I never thought it would be this absolutely amazing book that is easily one of my favorite reads of the year! If I had to pick one word to describe Dualed, it would be, Fan-freaking-tastic!

Canadian author, Elsie Chapman's writing is simply sensational. It's confident, cunning and solid. The world she created is brilliant, fresh and unique. It's creative and imaginative and probably one of the most thought provoking stores I've ever read.
The pacing and flow is pitch perfect. The mix of emotions and pound-happy action is both heartbreaking and exhilarating. This is a sci-fi survival story that challenges the characters to be the best of the best and your opponent is you. Your Alt. To fight to be the better version. How cool and wicked is this concept? It's no secret that I love survival type books and I'm happy to say that Dualed slides right next to my favorites.

West Grayer is a 15 year old idles and such a conflicting creature. She's at war with herself, and I'm not talking about her Alt. I'm taking about how much pressure guilt and fear and determination can weigh you down. It doesn't matter how much guts and skills and promises she has, it's still holding her back and pushing away. But who could blame her? West comes from an entire family of Incompletes. So what makes her think that she's the worthy version of herself? What makes her think she could win? By doing everything she has to do to survive, she decides to become a Striker, a person who is hired to kill Alts for money. Here she will hone her skills till it's time to face down her own Alt.

My heart really went out to West. She is such a stubborn and passionate character. Apart of me wants to jump up and cheer her on while the other part wants to strangle her. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the whole Striker thing. I understand the reasons behind it, but that doesn't mean it's morally the right choice. Even after the story is done, I'm still undecided. However I can't seem to be upset at her for pushing away Chord as much as she did. He's the last and only person left that she cares about. So who's to say that her Alt wont go after him the same way Chords Alt went after her brother. It's selfish and selfless and frustrating and beautiful and I'd probably do the same thing if it were me.
As for Chord, you can't help but just adore him to pieces. This guy wont take no for an answer. Push him down and he'll only push back harder. You just gotta love his fierce determination to help and protect West with everything he has. It may have started out as a promise but it's not hard to tell that it's always been so much more.

The romance was charming and subtle. The banter is sweet and tame but you can still feel that intense ache when things slowed down long enough to get real. I can't say there is a lot of romance in this one, but I wouldn't have it any other way. This book is ultimately about death and survival and anything more then what we got would have confused or distracted that fact.

All in all, this was an instant favorite! Dualed has everything I could ever want in an escape and more. It makes you think and it make you feel. It's fascinating, all consuming and 100% entertaining from start to finish. 
Also this reads like a standalone but book two; Divided is already set for next year, which I can't wait to get my greedy little hands on. Greatly looking forward to seeing where Chapman takes this next! 
A must read for dystopian sci-fi and survival fans!

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                                                                    5 snowflakes

4 comments:

  1. LOL it seems like everyone is posting their reviews of Dualed today! How funny. I'm really glad that you loved this book. I wasn't a fan of it, but it was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2013 and I just wish I could share your enthusiasm so much. This is exactly how I WANTED to react to Dualed!

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    1. Aww sorry you couldn't enjoy this the way you wanted to. Books are funny like that. I thought this was a really great escape and it was fun reading it:)

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  2. I'm glad you liked this one! The reviews I have read so far have been negative, so its nice to read one that is positive. This makes me want to try it out!

    Jennifer
    YA Sisterhood

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    1. I've noticed that reactions are mixed for this one. I guess it just depends on what you like:) I loved the concept and the writing is fantastic. Can't wait till the next book:)

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