In a future society, the government adopts a survival of the fittest mentality. Every person born into the world has a twin, or as referenced to in this book "an alt". The catch, each baby is raised by a different family. Somewhere between the ages of ten and twenty-one an individual and his/her alt become activated. Upon activation a person is given thirty days to kill the twin. If neither person is able to complete within the thirty days, both die. If one twin does kill the other his/her status changes from an Idle to a Complete. Completes are allowed to go on and live productive lives, marry, fall in love and hopefully lead normal, productive, happy lives from that point forward. Survival of the fittest, taken to the "nth" degree. But we all know everything always don't work out as planned, wealthy twins hire "Strikers" to do the job for them. The battle lines become blurred, may the best man or woman win.
From the back of the E-arc " Elsie Chapman currently lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children, where she writes to either movies or a loop or music turned up way too loud (and sometimes both at the same time.) Dualed is her first novel. A sequel Divided is planned for February 2014."
SETTING PACE AND STYLE
A dystopian novel set in the futuristic town called Kersh, with serious tones, plenty of violence and cold blooded murder, Dualed is mostly fast paced. At times it does have a few lulls, more often than not, the reader is held in nail-biting suspense as the story unfolds. Writing style lacked some originality in sentence structure but made up for it in unique plot. The story is told in a first person narrative through the eyes of the female protagonist, West Grayer.
CHARACTERS AND PLOT
A very different story line in where the characters were very limited. Focus pigeon-holed on the main character, West and her potential love interest Chord. Other ancillary characters weren't really explored in much depth.
West is a confused female, who's lost her entire family and is trying to make some sense of the aftermath. For some strange reason, she decides it would be best if she turned assassin, to help her prepare for activation and better defend herself against her Alt. Shortly after, she gets activated and then, curiously, can't seem to muster the courage to finish her alt. Then doubt begins to set in. West can't help wondering if she really is the one who deserves to live. Is she really the better half? This internal battle poses numerous conundrums in the days ahead, as time quickly ticks away during her period of indecision.
Chord is West's brother Luc's best friend. He grew up with West always tagging along with her older brother. He's a strong character, appearing to have an uncanny knack to keep it together. He seemed more of sound mind and tough skin then West, despite losing his best friend and his family, too. For some reason he coped much better than West with the loses and was able to put it behind him much easier. He's dependable, always seeming to be there for West when she needs him the most. Plot: After receiving her notice to kill her Alt, a young girl spends her time plotting the best way to survive both mentally and physically.
This is a fairly violent book dealing with plenty of bloodshed and is not for the faint at heart. Even though the narrator is a female because of the action and fight scenes guys should love this one as much as the gals. Readers who like dystopian novels but don't count on the world building to make perfect sense, will surely appreciate this dystopian thriller.
This is a book I looked forward to reading. I mean with the concept of Alts, Completes and Idles, the premise sounded like something new, fresh, a strong potential for amazing. Then, once I started reading, I just wasn't swept off my feet. In fact it was quickly falling flat from my high expectations.
To begin with, I didn't know if the main character West was male or female. Her voice didn't really give an indication towards either. Then, there was an awful lot of information dumping at the beginning. The writing style followed a certain sentence structure that I noticed as a similar pattern throughout the book. This bothered me a bit. Initially, I also felt so VERY frustrated at how West insisted on pushing Chord away. I found it irritating she made a promise to her brother, Luc and then immediately broke it. Chord is a strong character. I admired how he kept it together. He seemed more of sound mind then West, despite losing his best friend.
As the book progressed I admit, I did become more emotionally moved by the story and invested in West. This story didn't chinch on action or death scenes, either. Its pretty bloody and definitely not for the faint of heart. What really surprised me is the ending. I liked how it wrapped up. The conclusion brought the story up from 3 stars to 4. It worked well. Execution isn't to perfection here, but it certainly improves as the story goes on, eventually concluding on a very satisfactory note.
For me this one ended up being 4 out of 5 Rings. One ring deducted for writing style and slow start with lots of information dumping.
4 out of 5 Rings (CAPTIVATING - LOOKED FORWARD TO READING)