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Dualed [Hardcover]

Elsie Chapman
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 26 2013 Dualed
The Hunger Games meets Matched in this high-concept thriller where citizens must prove their worth by defeating the other version of themselves—their twin.

Two of you exist. Only one will survive.

West Grayer is ready. She's trained for years to confront her Alternate, a twin raised by another family. Survival means a good job, marriage—life.

But then a tragic misstep leaves West questioning: Is she 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 herself, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Fast-paced and unpredictable, Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a chilling, unforgettable world.

Praise for Dualed:

"A gripping, thought-provoking thriller that keeps your heart racing and your palms sweaty. . . . The kind of book Katniss Everdeen and Jason Bourne would devour." —Andrew Fukuda, author of the Hunt series

"Full of unexpected turns. . . . Fans of the Divergent trilogy will want to read this imaginative tale." —VOYA

"A fast ride from first to final pages, Dualed combines action and heart." —Mindy McGinnis, author of Not a Drop to Drink

"Intense and swift, Dualed grabbed me by the throat and kept me turning pages all the way to the end. Romance and action fans alike will love it." —Elana Johnson, author of the Possession series

"Stylish, frenetic, and violent, . . . the textual equivalent of a Quentin Tarantino movie."—Publishers Weekly

"A double dose of intensity and danger in this riveting tale of survival, heartache, and love."—Kasie West, author of Pivot Point

"This thought-provoking survival-of-the-fittest story will leave you breathless for more." —Ellen Oh, author of Prophecy

"Clever suspense—here, stalking is a two-way street." —Kirkus Reviews

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Review

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"This is one debut novel that will have readers hooked from the first line...It is a logical next-read for Hunger Games fans with potential for authentic class discussions on survival of the fittest, and making tough choices in a true 'kill or be killed' world."

About the Author

ELSIE CHAPMAN is a Canadian living in Tokyo with her husband and two children, where she writes to either movies on a loop or music turned up way too loud (and sometimes both at the same time). Visit Elsie at elsiechapman.com and follow her on Twitter @elsiechapman.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Exercise is poor decision making Jan. 10 2014
By Christa Seeley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Simply put this novel is an exercise in bad decision making. If West (our protagonist) was as clever as the book kept telling me she was, then it didn’t make sense for her to continually and consistently make poor decisions. She should have been able to at least speculate on why something would end up working against her. But every time she was reckless and impulsive and I wished I could jump into the story and talk some sense into her.

Although to be fair, it may not be West’s fault that she made such poor choices, since the premise of the novel itself was a little shaky. I couldn’t understand why a society that was so poor would spend so much of their resources on the Alternate system. There was a brief explanation about breeding the strongest people but a society built solely on physical strength is doomed to fail and furthermore it seemed like all the money and resources invested in the manufacturing of alts could have been better spent on education and other programs that would have also created a stronger, smarter population but with a lot less bloodshed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty great dystopian story with a new view March 4 2013
By Jetches TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
From the moment I heard about Dualed I knew immediately that I wanted to read it. The synopsis alone draws you in. When I started reading I did get a large Hunger Games vibe, and when I finished I realized that it was similar to the Hunger Games in the dystopian society where children kill other children way. But, this one is different. There are no TVs to capture the even, and they are not secluded. They dual an alternate version of themselves to prove who is the strongest and who will help defend the city should anything happen. And they do it all in broad day-light right in the middle of their cities. But I can't deny that there were still a lot of similarities between Dualed and The Hunger Games even down to their characters. There is the boy who will do anything to save the girl, and the girl who walks around completely numb, emotionless, and robotic. Even having admitted that I still loved the book and I especially loved the characters. There was a lot of scenic description and even just some inner thoughts that I thought the book could do with out, but still I was rooting for West and I couldn't stop reading about her `active' journey. West meets others along the way--some she helps, some she puts in harms way, but her journey was one that I found interesting. I have a feeling that the next in the series, like The Hunger Games, will start to show the people and even West revolting against the way things are and I personally can't wait to see what happens next.

Good:

West--Even when she is avoiding fighting she is still teaching herself how to fight. She's confused, and strong.

Chord--Chord was a character that I loved from the start. He is tech savvy and does everything he possibly can to protect West. She's all he has left.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  120 reviews
39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did not live up to my expectations. Feb. 26 2013
By BookGeek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This review discuses a something that happens in the first 10% of the book. It is something not discussed in the synopsis, but absolutely should have been.

West is literally running for her life for most of this book. She has gone active and has the constant knowledge that her ALT is after her. With all of this, "Dualed" lacks tension. It's annoyingly repetitive and West is just too stoic a narrator. The story starts off strong; West has just buried another sibling who was killed by their alternate. She is still in her funeral blacks when Cord, a boy she has known all of her life, goes active. (Going "Active" means that you have a month to hunt down and kill your alternate) West refuses to lose another person and pushes Cord to go after his alt immediately. This sets off a chain of action packed and heartbreaking events.

At this point, I am hungrily flipping through the pages. I'm thinking that this book is going to be great, but it isn't. The issue is that the book doesn't so much decline as it goes static. West runs around Kersh, trying to avoid her Alt and Cord, while killing strangers and innocents. In the first 10% of this book West becomes a Striker. A striker is an assassin who kills alts for those who can afford to pay. This ruined the book for me. One, because "Dualed" isn't being advertised as a book about an assassin and I felt completely blindsided. It happens so early in the book, that it blows my mind that it is not mentioned in the synopsis, the trailer or any other promotional media I have seen. Second, in a world filled with Katniss Everdeens and Rose Hathaways it is very difficult to like a heroine who kills for no reason.

The author tries to give us this spiel about how Striker's fight against the system. No. Robin Hood fights against the system. Bruce Wayne fights against the system, Striker's kill for the highest bidder. Sure, this is not what the Kersh government wants and I guess it is a form of rebellion, but that is not a good enough excuse. West does not sign up to help the little man or to smuggle people out of the city limits. No, she signs up to kill innocent people. At least the government gives them a 50% chance of survival. West and her people take that away. Since the government is so corrupt and rules absolutely, it's not like the people who can pay to eliminate their alternates have worked hard for their money or anything. These are people who have the option of not getting their hands dirty. It is cheating. There is a way of life in Kersh and instead of trying to improve that life, West is just helping cowards beat the system.

There is all this talk about how West should become a Striker as a mode of training. I expected to read awesome training sequences, where West learns to become a warrior. There is none. So, we just follow along as West bungles through the murders of innocent people. This storyline was just no good for me. Seeing as there is no real training, besides West getting the feel for killing another person, it just seemed villainous. A fifteen-year-old girl killing people does not entertain me. Especially, when she is killing for reasons other then survival. Scenes where she just walks up to an unsuspecting person and offs them really made me cringe inside. Why are we rooting for this cold-blooded killer?

The one good thing about this book is Cord. Cord is loyal, trustworthy and steadfast. He comes through for West even when she turns her back on him, demands he leave her alone and abandons him. He protects her despite herself and is always there to lend a hand. He is a strong young man who understands why she is pushing him away. Instead of getting pissy, Cord becomes even more determined. He is not going to leave her to face death alone. I loved that about him. It got to the point where I wanted Cord to just forget about West and find a girl who respected his strength. West becomes obsessed with protecting Cord, with good reason, but after awhile it just seemed shallow. The person she is really protecting is herself.

I always pick up dystopian novels hoping not to recreate, but have a similar sensation to how "The Hunger Games" made me feel. "Dualed" seemed a promising choice. A dystopian world where characters must kill a carbon copy of themself in order to survive? What a twisted, but brilliant concept. Unfortunately, the book did not live up to my expectations.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart pounding action filled book that begs to be made into a movie!! Feb. 26 2013
By Sunny in DC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Dualed is one of those books that you need to be prepared to read. It will take you on a rollercoaster of non-stop action and thrills that will have you on the edge of your seat for most of the book. As I was reading Dualed, I saw it playing like a movie in my head. I could see Kersh, I could see West and Chord. And I could feel the difficult dilemma that faces all of them. To kill your Alt. Someone genetically coded to be exactly like you. To look like you. But they are not you. I guess it is the science fiction geek in me that just found the concept of this book so fascinating. It is so unlike anything out there, which may be why other readers are thrown by it. This is not some typical dystopian book with a heroic uprising. And that's what I love about it! It is really different and fascinating. And I can't wait for the sequel, DIVIDED, to come out!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced Debut with Lots of Action March 26 2013
By Kayla Beck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In Dualed , we are brought into Kersh: a city-state in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has been left infertile. The Board - the governing body - somehow has managed to find a way to create/grow human clones in labs two at a time. Every set of twins (or Alts) are separated at birth (hatching?) and each baby is raised by a different family. They never meet until the time comes for them to hunt down and kill their clone upon their activation. You see, the Board teaches that the survival of Kersh depends upon the strength of its population, so only those who kill their Alts are worthy of living there. This world-building is interesting, but it left me hungering for more. It seemed like there were holes in the story and zip-aheads (you know, when you fast forward in time - roll with it) that confused me a bit. When it came to other aspects of the story, I could suspend disbelief enough to believe Kersh wanted to be a land of killers, but I wanted to read more about why the Board activated certain individuals when they did. I also wish there would have been more showing of the parents and how they dealt with the loss of one child, but having another walking around, genetically the same.

The writing itself in Dualed was gripping, but I did have a bit of trouble connecting with the characters. West Grayer is a young girl surrounded by death and loss, and I think she is a fair representation of that. She is withdrawn and pushes away anyone who attempts to get close to or help her. I think this included me. However, West was fascinating to observe (I never felt like I was there with her like I do in many books), and I enjoyed her interactions with Chord. My favorite thing about her was the doubt she felt about being the worthy one, being as she was a hired assassin for other people's Alts. As for West's Alt, I wish I could have known her a little better. We were only given brief glimpses of her life, and mystery does not always translate to villainy.

After it's all said and done, I have to applaud Elsie Chapman for Dualed . There were times that I was left scratching my head because of the pace, but I never felt the urge to put the book down. I think the strange and broken future world that saw kids killing kids on the streets kept my attention trained so completely upon it. I knew from a few chapters into the book that it may not be for me, but Chapman had me and wasn't going to let me go. And though I know that Dualed 's sequel, Divided , will be coming out next year, I found the ending to be completely satisfying. I'm a huge fan of Old School science fiction's open endings, but that's not the case with Dualed . I can't imagine that any readers will be left standing at the edge of a cliff begging for book 2 because of how it all wraps up. Then again, I just read the ARC, so there may be a huge twist at the end that I completely missed.

Teen or adult reader alike, I think you should read the book for yourself. It's so fast and action-packed, it's likely you will forget that you are reading.

3.5/5 Stars

*To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a digital eARC of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing April 11 2013
By Braden Olmstead - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is so awesome it will totally blow your mind no joke seriously i haven't read a book this awesome in a while
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dualed was both an entertaining as well as frustrating novel. March 16 2013
By Katrina @ Kindred Dreamheart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Could you kill someone with your face? Could you kill at all if faced with certain death? In the world of Dualed, if you want to make it into adulthood you will become a murderer.

Dualed centers around a society when everyone has a genetic alternate complete with government medically "timed" wiring that can be activated at any time a little before or during puberty. Such internal devices make killing your twin an undebatable command. But where there are laws, there are criminals willing to break them. Where there are law abiding citizens, there's also a black market.

Dualed is told from West Grayer's point of view. Her situation instantly made me like her. She's lost a lot of her loved ones and virtually one step from homelessness on top of poverty. Her only hope for a better living situation is being activated, and yet the public school system is not up to part. With a little push, she delves into a journey of bloodshed and cowardness. While I completely understood West's hesitation, the length of it seemed a bit at olds with her initial portrayal. She was kind of a walking contradiction. I was curious to know her Alt's point of view. It's weird to automatically have an enemy from the time you are born, and while Dualed is written to make you automatically hate "the other one". It would have been nice to see things from their perspective.

Dualed was both an entertaining as well as frustrating novel. I found it difficult to get into the story right away. Mainly because I was juggling reads. Dualed is the type of novel that demands your undivided attention. West goes back and forth between the past and present, and if you're not careful you'll get lost. While West's character was a grey zone for me, I was completely in awe of the society. I could see a lot of potential. Kersh seemed very cut throat (literally)! I look forward to book two.

I'm an Ambuzzador (via Random Buzzers) for this book and was given a free copy for an honest review.
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