Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Random House Books


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.  - Goodreads.com

The summary for this story really caught my attention when it came out.  Having to fight and kill your alternate in order to survive in this dystopian world is very "Hunger Games" and I knew it would make for an exciting story.  And it did.  The fighting in this story was very suspenseful, and the fact that West only has so much time to kill her own alternate before they both die amps up the suspense even more.

West was an interesting character.  From the start I felt she was mature, but she had residual elements of a stubborn, impulsive girl to her that she makes a terrible mistake that costs her dearly.  The fact that she did it was impulsive and reckless, but it's the kind of mistake anyone would make.  This made it even more sad when the inevitable outcome occurred.  I understood her motivations for everything she did, and this made her such a real character for me, that I really did love her.

The romance to this story wasn't really front and center.  The majority of the book is spent in West's head, and rather than become boring to hear so much internalization, it was a very exciting book.  The fighting alone really revved the story up, just when you thought things were getting a little stagnant.  I felt like the romance appeared just when it needed to.  Not too much, not too little.  And I loved the guy!  How he took care of her, even when she didn't know he was doing so, made me fall for him immediately.

Chapman created a very suspenseful, exciting story here.  It was inventive and exciting.  The pacing was perfect, and I flew through the pages and the story so quickly.  The ending surprised me a little bit because I know this is a series and will have a sequel, but I felt that the author wrapped things up so well, that this book could have been a standalone.  I will definitely pick up the next installment.

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