Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Title: Dualed
Author: Elsie Chapman
Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Acquired Via: NetGalley

You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s 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 her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.

My Review

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

Be sure to order your copy of Dualed today!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond

About the Author

Elsie grew up in Prince George, BC, before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a BA in English Literature. She currently lives in Vancouver with her husband and two kids, where she writes to either movies on a loop or music turned up way too loud (and sometimes both at the same time).

She's repped by The Chudney Agency, and her debut novel, Dualed, published by Random House is out! The sequel, Divided, will be published February 2014.

She's also a contributing member of Friday the Thirteeners and The Lucky 13s group author blogs.

You can find Elsie on her Website, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule

February 25th
Sarah @ The Book Life – Tour kick-off and Interview w/ Elsie

February 26th
Jenna @ Making the Grade - Guest Post

February 27th
Kristan @ Lost Amongst the Shelves - Review

February 28th
Anna @ Literary Exploration - Guest Post

March 1st
Inky @ Book Haven Extraordinaire - Review

March 2nd
Joli @ Actin’ Up with Books - Guest Post

March 4th
Sara @ Forever 17 Books - Review

March 5th
Tara @ Hobbitsies - Guest Post

March 6th
Lilian @ A Novel Toybox - Guest Post

March 7th
Kayla @ Bibliophilia, Please - Review

March 8th
Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf - Review

March 9th
Michelle @ Passionate Bookworm – Review

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.

This book counts toward my completion of the Debut Author Challenge.


  1. I'm excited about The Collector by Victoria Scott :)

  2. I'm not entering the giveaway since I read/reviewed this already. Just wanted to say I think your review and rating was fair. Much of the problems you had, I did as well.

  3. @Kristia & Lisa - I haven't looked much into that one, but I'm going to check it out to see what it is. :-)

    @Kristin - Thank you for sharing that with me! I was killing myself writing the review because I've been a lot harder than usual lately. I thought I was turning into an old coot or something. :-)

  4. Im so looking forward to Clockwork Princess. I'm at the edge of my seat wanting to continue this series! :)

  5. Of course I'm looking forward to this one...I'm also dying to read Mila 2.0, Taken, and Nobody But Us :)

  6. the book I'm most excited about (other than Dualed of course)is Etiquette & Espionage which happens to be Book Twirps April re-along book!!


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!