Series: Dualed #1
Published by Random House LLC Source: Netgalley
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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’ve said it time and time again, I don’t read a lot of YA, but every once in a while a YA book comes across my screen or catches my eye in a library or bookstore and I can’t help it I have to pick it up. What can I say, a cool concept or greatly written back cover will often times makes me pick up a book, even if it isn’t in a genre I prefer. I do have to say I really liked the whole concept of this book. It was a really cool sci-fi/fantasy take on things, and lately I have found myself watching a lot of sci-fi/fantasy so I wanted to read one of those books that first brought me to reviewing books.
That being said, while I really did truthfully think the concept of everyone having a twin and then having to kill off that twin so that there is only one clone at a time, I don’t know if I was one hundred precent of sold on the world. First books in a series, in my opinion, have to establish a fully credible world in just one short book, that sometimes it doesn’t come off as good as it does in later books, so I am hoping that is the case with this book.
So basically in this world, reproduction only happens when you go to a clinic and a bunch of scientists mix genetic material and the have to exactly the same embryos that of course are then born. Sometimes during puberty the clones “activate” and at this time have to fight their “alt” and only one will survive. The whole purpose for this is to produce a society full of strong, soldier like people, because in this world war could break out at any second and they need to be able to fight against their enemies.
Part of my problem with this book was that everyone in this society is a killer, and yet, they all act like semi-normally people with day to day life, it doesn’t seem like anyone is really affected by the level of violence this society lives with. I would think having a bunch of people who at a very young age literally had to kill themselves would result in some kind of messed up psyche.
West, the main character, worked for me sometimes, and sometimes not so much. She is, understandably so, a little wary about killing her alt, but at the same time her “profession” isn’t exactly on par with her apprehension, in fact it’s quite contradictory. Also West’s relationship with Chord just seemed highly underdeveloped, they were supposed to have a lot of history together but that didn’t come across to me in the text.
All in all I think this is a decent start to a series, there were some stumbles along the way, but I think as the series progresses it will get better. The writing and narrative style I enjoyed, so I think most people will enjoy that. As with all YA books I always that people who know they like YA try it out, but if you only like adult books, this probably isn’t the book for you.