Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Book Review: Dualed by Elise Chapman

Release Date: February 26, 2013
Author: Elise Chapman
Publisher: Random House BYR
Length: 304 pages

"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."


Protagonist: West has lost almost everyone she's ever loved, and in an effort to survive her assignment, a challenge of finding and killing your genetic match, she does the unthinkable. I wasn't a huge fan of West's character. Even though I have never known the tragedy she has, she just wasn't a great protagonist. There were times when I liked her but they were few and far between. I'd say that in the end she grew into a character that I could see as a beginning protagonist.

Romance: There is romance in this book, however unlike the Goodreads summary suggests, it is nowhere near the forefront of this book. It's not even really foreshadowed until the last few chapters. That being said the romance was enjoyable to read when it was mentioned, but I felt as though West was constantly either in denial about her feelings or in the dark about his feelings as it was obvious they'd get together from the get go, but there was not real literary device that indicated it.

World-Building: This world takes place in a city called Kersh which is divided into four ward, each serving a different function. In this city, to both avoid war and be prepared for it everyone is born to two sets of parents and has an identical twin born the the other set. Between the ages of ten and twenty the child will be given one month selected randomly to kill their Alt or be killed by them to weed out the stronger individual. The world-Building doesn't have plot holes as far as I could tell and everything seems to be answered quickly and evenly throughout the book.

Predictability: One of the sadder parts of this book was that it wasn't unpredictable nor was it predictable, it merely flowed without too much suspense or twists. I was kind of disappointed that there wasn't really any foreshadowing or clever teasing throughout this book. Not that it wasn't a good read, but it was rather on the bland side of things.

Ending: So, this is supposed to be a series (the second book called Divided,) however the ending seemed very similar to that of a stand-alone. Unlike firsts in a series that, while having plateaued endings, still leave things left open for a sequel or more, this one seemed very complete. So, I guess if you read it and might not like it you still have the option of not continuing and feeling satisfied with this ending.

Overall, I'm giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It wasn't by any means bad, it was actually pretty good, but I felt as though it had the potential to become so much more than it was. I'd say pick it up form your local library if you can, but don't buy it until you're sure you like it or not.

P.S. I have a giveaway going on right now for a SIGNED copy of The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead which is out today! Be sure to enter for your chance to win and be sure to follow me using the various forms below to stay up to date on my reviews of the hottest YA lit.

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1 comment:

  1. I gave it three stars. I love the concept, but the middle was so slow and drawn out. I'm interested to see where the next book goes, tho.