Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed is set in the futuristic city of Kersh where all people have a twin, an Alt. But, only one can survive. Between the ages of ten and twenty each Alt will go active, they will be assigned to kill their Alt. The surviving Alt becomes a Complete and has a better life than before.

West Grayer has been training for the day that she will have to face her Alt. But, just before West goes active, tragedy strikes, leaving West wondering if there is a life worth living ahead of her. Is she the best version of herself? Does her Alt deserve to win? When West goes active, she flees. Will she be able to face her Alt? Will she be the best version of herself? Will she survive?

Rate: 3.5 stars

Dualed was a quick, action packed read. I would recommend it to anybody who is looking for a quick dystopian read that will keep you on edge. Since the book was so small there was not a whole lot of world building, which  I would have liked to see more of. I also wish there was a bit more depth to the book. But all aside, it was still a good book. 


I thought the whole concept of the world that West lived in was interesting. I understood that her society only wanted the strongest among them, but at the same time, making children kill each other can also make you weaker. If you are so preoccupied with killing each other, how would you win a war? Also, the people would be ruthless and cruel, not sympathetic and kind. Wouldn't you want your people to be kind and caring?

Now, there's also the problem with innocent people being killed off from a stray bullet. And I find it so weird that bullets flying and people dying is normal, part of their culture. It's just wrong. Anyway, we have the people that have died for no reason, Chord's younger brother, West's mother, Luc. West's mom was a Complete (obviously) and she was killed, she was one of the strong ones. Great job, Kersh, you just killed an innocent person, a strong fighter. I think that it is wrong that everybody in the city should be afraid of their Alt, afraid to die.

I was glad when Dire pointed out that the way things worked was good to make soldiers, but not to keep people humans. He said that balance was good and that if living without the memory of killing someone is weakness, then maybe weakness is good. I was glad that that was mentioned in the book, but then Dire sent West off to be a Striker (assassin). So does he really believe in what he said?

When West became a Striker, I was glad that she did show some emotion after her fist strike. I didn't think she was a sadist, and I thought it was a realistic reaction to what she did. I thought that it was odd that she was able to kill all of the people she did fairly easily, but when it came to her own Alt, she just ran. I know that it would be a bit different, but it took her a lot longer than expected to get it together and kill her Alt. 

And what's with the female protagonist of every dystopian novel being stubborn and always pushing people away? Wouldn't you want help when someone was trying to kill you? I understood that West didn't want what happened to her brother, Luc, to happen to Chord, but I wish she would have at least accepted some help, which I guess she did in the end. But I wish she accepted it sooner. I also found it very obvious that they were going to be a couple in the end.

The last chapter off the book was more like an epilogue, it jumped ahead a few months from the chapter before. I was surprised that West became weaponry assistant, her aim wasn't the best. She was always struggling with that fact throughout the book. Maybe she improved?

Like I said above, there was not a lot of world building or depth to the book, which, like I said I would have liked to see more of. I would like to know what happened to the rest of the world, and why her city is the way it is. I also wish we could have seen a bit more of West's life before she went active. Her friends were mentioned a few times, and I would have liked to see them. We really only had West and Chord, plus a few minor characters, I wish that there were some more characters.

Overall, this was a quick, action packed read. Although short, it was enjoyable.

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