Tuesday, September 3, 2013

DUALED by Elsie Chapman

I've been putting off writing this review.  *sigh*  Dualed was one of those books I was sure I'd love based on the concept.  I was completely taken in; it sounded like another great sci-fi/dystopian to add to my bookshelf.  Alternate versions of people?  A society where one must die and only one can live?  Sounded awesome!  It's also a part of my DAC Challenge, hence the review.

But I have to say: This book just wasn't for me L.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get into the story.  One of the characters I really liked died within the first few pages, and the way it happened left a bad taste in my mouth.  I hadn't grown attached to anyone, not even West, the MC, and all of a sudden BAM!  Brutal death scene--which I'm sure was meant to show how awful the society and its ways are--but I felt like that character could've been the heart of the book.  For me, this death didn't serve its purpose.

Then there's the readability factor.  In this type of book (in any book really), I like the story to be fast-paced with a good flow.  But I found myself having to go back and read passages again, more than a few times.  It could've been the sentence structure, or I could've just been having an off day.  It happens.  But when I had to stop and re-read, it really messed up the flow for me.

As far as the main characters go, West and Chord were okay.  Their romance was one of the things I liked best about the book.  I liked how Chord cared so much about West and tried to help her even when she refused his help.  I also liked Baer--a hardened, straight-talking teacher who gets very little page-time, but who I'm sure will play a role in future books.

My other main problem was with West.  Once she got her assignment (a virtual map to her alt's location), she didn't immediately seek her out.  This would've been fine.  I'm one of those people who believes that heroes don't kill people unless they're cornered and absolutely forced to do so.  And even then, they don't usually kill people.  So what happened next baffled me.  West was unwilling to kill her alt, like I said, but she goes out and becomes a striker???  Strikers kill their clients' alts for money.  So, basically, West becomes an assassin and yes, she does kill people.  Several people.  She does this with no remorse, and doesn't look at them as human beings but as a job--even though she's unwilling to kill her own alt and secure her survival.  I didn't get it.  And if it was about not being able to face yourself or kill your other self, I didn't buy it.

I had such high expectations, and this one fell flat for me.  Good attempt, just not for me.  Dualed was book 1 in a series, and I'm sorry to say I won't be getting book 2.

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl


  1. I've heard good and bad about this one. The premise is interesting enough for me to give it a try but I'll go into it with less high expectations now!

    1. Hi Lan,
      Yeah, I would definitely recommend trying it for yourself if you're interested. I can see how different readers might have different opinions on this one