Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Author: Elsie Chapman
Series: Dualed #1
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
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)
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.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Dualed*:
4 big stars. I am very interested to see what happens in the rest of this series!