Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Format: eBook, 304 pages
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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.
I was really looking forward to this book, and while it didn’t *quite* live up to my expectations, I still loved it! Very quickly I learned about this society that West lived in, where there were two of every person and that they didn’t meet until they were assigned to dual it out and hopefully be the survivor. The idea really intrigued me and that’s what kept me going.
The society that she lived in was believable, though I would have liked a little more explanation into what happened to cause this extreme need to have children kill one another. There was quite a bit of “kill” terminology, like “assisted kill” (AK) and “peripheral kill” (PK) which got confusing in the middle of the book because they had been mentioned once in passing and then abbreviated for the rest of the story. So once the action started, I couldn’t remember what each of the acronyms meant.
I really liked West’s character – she was tough, smart and resourceful. I didn’t always agree with how she did things, or the way that her thought processes went, though. She made funny decisions to try to survive and keep her best friend safe, but to me it didn’t necessarily add up for me.
Once I thought the action would really start, when West received her assignment, it actually slowed down, and I found myself always waiting for something to happen that would kick-start the conflict between her and her Alt. At the point when it did happen, the book was nearing the end, but the scenes themselves were intense.
Overall, I highly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who likes young-adult dystopia. I’m also interested to see where the next book in the series will go, and if it will answer the residual questions I have from reading Dualed.