Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Publisher: Random House Books
Copy Provided by: Edelweiss
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Series: Dualed #1
Expected Publication Date: February 26,2013
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.
I am having such a hard time writing this review. Dualed was a book that was on my personal list of 2013 must reads and the moment I sat down to read it with hopes high my enthusiasm never wavered. Unfortunately, the hype I had built up in my mind didn't reflect the book I was actually reading. Let's get things straight, Dualed isn't a bad book by any means it's just not at all what I expected and here's why:
Expected Plot- After initially reading the blurb on Goodreads I honestly thought the majority of the book would be West playing a cat and mouse game with her Alt trying to decide whether she wants to kill or be killed. Maybe West even accidentally runs into her alt in her youth with her "family" thus bringing about some moral dilemma that shapes how she grows up and brings about a strong hatred for the establishment who makes them kill each other in the first place.
Actual Plot- While Dualed is sorta like what I had in mind the middle of the book had West "training/working" as a Striker (hired alt assassin) while constantly battling her inner self (aka moping over the losses she's suffered) and pushing away the one person who could actually help her see that she is worthy of living. To much Drama, not enough death and destruction for my liking. Again it wasn't bad but I personally felt after the first 60 pages or so like I was reading two separate books that happened to share a similar plot.
I should've known after seeing the disappointing book trailer that this book might not be what I was expecting. I would've liked to see more back story on the Alts. I mean West is already a teenager when we meet her, she's stripped of all familial ties early on so we never really get a chance to see how Alt families live and raise each child. 20 or so pages dedicated to a montage of shots of her and her alt growing up would of been nice even if they were all inside West's head. It would've been super cool to see how each family handled or was perceived by West to have handled the inevitable.
As for the romance, West and Chord were sweet together but I didn't really like the way she treated him and couldn't really understand why he even liked her. It just felt like an odd pairing forced together just to claim the book had romantic elements.
Overall, I liked Dualed, I did. When the Action was happening I was completely sucked into the story. It's just the other parts which unfortunately took up 100 or so pages fell flat for me. The Striker sub plot wasn't bad it just didn't flow well with the beginning and the end which were both in my opinion the best written parts of the book. Would I recommend Dualed? Yes, but I'd say borrow from a friend or the library first before purchasing. I think you will still end up buying it but I can't confidently recommend you do so before reading. Shame to, because when the book was on it was great. In the end I will be rating Dualed by Elsie Chapman a firm ★★★. Good writing, decent plot, but character development and back story was a bit disappointing.
Now for my questions:
Have you heard of this book? If so, Do you plan on reading it?
Would you live in a city like Kersh if it meant killing your Alt?
Let me know your answers in the comments below, I love reading all your responses!