Thursday, April 03, 2014

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

In the city of Kersh, everyone must eliminate their genetic Alternate twin, raised by another family, before their twentieth birthday. West Grayer, 15, has trained as a fighter, and has one month to hunt and kill her Alt. A tragic misstep shakes her confidence. Guilty, grieving, she feels unworthy, runs from her Alt and from love - both can destroy her.

I found the premise of this book intriguing, though was a little worried about where the story was going to go. I ended up listening to the audiobook (something I do while I’m folding laundry or washing dishes—it makes the chore so much better), but I really didn't like the narrator. By the end, her voice was grating on my nerves and that got in the way of the story quite a bit. Multiple times, I wished I was reading it instead of listening.

Anyway, attempting to leave the narrator out of it, the story was okay. My initial worries turned out to be valid… West ends up becoming a killer for hire because it’s the only way she’ll get real training for dealing with her own Alt. I had some issues with that. It’s one thing to be forced into an impossible situation where it’s kill or be killed, and another entirely to kill for money. You've got to have a certain kind of cold heart in order to kill for hire, and that interfered with my enjoyment of the rest if the story.

Then, West becomes ‘active,’ and has to kill her Alt. But she doesn’t. She runs from every opportunity, and continues with the killing for hire. I wasn’t okay with this, either. I'm guessing that the author was trying to allude to scary aspects of oneself, how it's easier to face other people's faults than your own, but the killing overshadowed all of that. I give props to the author for tackling such a difficult and strong theme, and I wish it had come across stronger.

So, overall, it was okay. Definitely read the book instead of listening to the audiobook.

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