Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Title:  Dualed
Author:  Elsie Chapman
Series:  Dualed #1
Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  February 26, 2013
Pages:  304
Format/Source:  eARC/Received from publisher via NetGalley

Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Science Fiction, Dystopian

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)

Pre-Book Excitement…

From the moment I saw that fantastic cover, I knew that I would enjoy Dualed.  And the synopsis made me even more excited to read it.  So I was ecstatic when I was approved for Dualed on NetGalley, and couldn’t wait to read it.

And for the most part, Dualed lives up to its fabulous cover and intriguing synopsis.  I thought that the action was nice, especially at the end, and I was happy to see that the book started off with lots of action.

And I really think that this is a book that can actually be compared to The Hunger Games.  So many books in the past couple of years had blurbs on them stating that they were “The Next Hunger Games” or “For Fans of The Hunger Games,” but so few of them really had any kind of similarities (other than dystopian societies and female protagonists).  However, Dualed has some definite similarities to that series, and I enjoyed all of those similarities.

I also really liked the idea of the Strikers (assassins who are hired by wealthy citizens so that they don’t have to kill their own Alts), but I would have liked to see more of the other Strikers.  And the world that West and the others lived in was really interesting to me, along with the society and how they reacted or didn’t react to all the killings going on around them.

A Few Hiccups…

There were a few flaws that I found while reading Dualed, however.  At one point the narration falls into the infodump trap, and at times I felt like West, the female protagonist, was a bit too all-knowing.  She knew how others felt and described it to us in the narration, rather than the character showing us with their actions or their dialogue.

And while I am not a huge fan of extreme cliffhanger endings, I do feel that Dualed was wrapped up a little too nicely.  I can speculate on what might happen in the further installments of this series, but Chapman really doesn’t give us even any kind of hint.

Great Quotes…

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Dualed*:

“The day passes, and slowly.  Each second is too full, not wanting to spill over to the next.”

“This particular alley is choking with dying cars, the sides of it lined with them, a crooked, broken train of vehicles that runs the length of the whole block.  Some are already starting to go orange with rust, gangly urban sunsets in a concrete jungle.”

“At a bakery across the street stands the couple I saw on the train.  Their body language speaks volumes, the way they lean toward each other, touching without touching.  Deep in conversation, when even the spaces between their words are understood.”

My rating for Dualed by Elsie Chapman:

4 big stars.  I am very interested to see what happens in the rest of this series!
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Random House
You may also enjoy:  The Hunger Games │ Divergent
Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley (thanks Random House Children’s and NetGalley!), in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.

*All quotes are from the eARC.  They may be different in the finalized version.


  1. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    February 18, 2013 at 6:12 am

    I don't know if I'll get to this one, but I have opened myself up recently to reading more science-fiction-ey kinds of books.

  2. Jessie Marie

    February 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

    So, apparently, I never read the synopsis for this book. Or a browsed it so flippantly that I didn't realize that one's Alternate was separate from… one. So that peeves me about the cover because I had more of a What's Left of Me impression, based on the cover. See how her shadow has her elbows bent, but the actual her, their extended? It's all in the details…

    Well, I like your review quite a bit. I don't know that I'll be sacrificing sleep or making serious extensions in my reading schedule to fit this in, but I'm intrigued enough to say I'll pick it up someday… maybe.

    : )

  3. Brittany @ The Book Addicts Guide

    February 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Great review! I agree, I thought somethings wrapped up just a bit too nicely. With all of the suspense and action, the end felt a bit too cutesy.
    I thought there were a few plot holes too (for me, mostly with the whole purpose of Kersh) but overall, I really did enjoy the story.
    Great review! I love reading reviews of this book – I feel like the reactions are very mixed.

  4. Brandi Kosiner

    February 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Glad it lived up to the hype and cover. I love the premise and the Strikers sounds intriging and maybe more of them in the 2nd.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  5. fakesteph

    February 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    The strikers sound really interesting. I think I'm going to have to read this one.

Leave a Reply

Want to include a link to one of your blog posts below your comment? Enter your URL in the website field, then click the button below to get started.