*This title will be released on February 26, 2013*
by Elsie Chapman
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: Yes
Reviewed by: Kristina | Source: Netgalley
Okay – A few good points, but with significant flaws. Library/swap/borrow if you want.
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.
As I read DUALED I was constantly reminded of The Hunger Games since both have children trapped in a system that forces them to become murderers. What makes DUALED even more tragic is the fact that children are trained from an early age to kill and they must eventually kill their Alt or be killed. There is no chance of your number never being picked out of the lottery like in The Hunger Games; your number will come up. While I liked the concept and some of the ideas in DUALED I had some issues with some other aspects of the story.
When I really think about the premise and the worldbuilding I wonder how the government let a society get into the situation of needing Alts. The explanation for Alts is pretty flimsy and makes little sense when I try to really think about it. Why is there no one challenging the violent society they live in where your formative years are spent training to be a killer? And killing half the population to form a stronger society doesn’t make logical sense to me and seems to be a waste of resources.
West is a tragic heroine who experiences so much loss but I admired her ability to survive. Unlike Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, West is cold and stoic which could be attributed to the death of her family. I didn’t feel a real emotional connection with her though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was still fascinated enough by her journey and the premise to keep reading. Aside from West many of the other characters were one dimensional and not elaborated on that much beyond leading to the next plot point.
The ending was a let down and kind of depressing as I was expecting something huge that could lead up to something interesting for the second book in the Dualed series, DIVIDED, which is expected in February 2014. I think this series has a lot of potential as I really like the general concept so I’ll wait and see if DIVIDED brings something more to the table.
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