On Shelves Tomorrow…
Dueled by Elsie Chapman
2 of 5 stars
Publication date: February 26, 2013
In a dystopian city which contains identical “Alts” of each underage person, it is finally West’s turn to eliminate her Alt and prove that she is the Alt worthy to live in the society.
“You always said that when it was your turn, you wouldn’t run or hide. I would have thought that of anyone, with you doing what you do, you’d be more than aware that you’re almost out of time… Ten days, West. That’s all.”
The Hunger Games-esque premise of this dystopian intrigued me, and the book kept up a quick pace that held my attention, but overall, I was disappointed with this one. I did, however, appreciate the fact that there was NOT a love triangle! Thank you, author!
Dystopians are meant to be extreme, but this one seemed simply illogical to me. There were too many things that I couldn’t wrap my head around, and that distracted me from the actual story… for instance:
- Because of a war going on and widespread infertility, the Board decides to systematically eliminate half of their own population? Huh?
- Though each person is responsible for eliminating their own Alt, Strikers can be hired on as assassins, and it seems that the Board just kind of looks the other way. Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of training everyone to be soldiers?
- It seems that just about anyone can be hired on as a Striker, regardless of their skills (or lack thereof), which doesn’t seem to make very good business sense
- [highlight for spoiler]In order to “protect” Chord from her Alt, West drugs him and leaves him… exactly where her Alt expects to find him, at his home.[/spoiler]
Aside from those issues, as I finished the book, I found myself wondering what the point of it was. The way that it ended didn’t create any major change in West’s attitude towards the Alt system that was set up, and — unlike The Hunger Games, where it’s obvious that the people are opposed to how unjust it is to kill off children — no one in this society seems bothered by that moral dilemma.
Overall: The killer premise failed to live up to my expectations, but it still might be a good read for die-hard dystopian enthusiasts.
Other books in the series:
Divided – coming Feb 2014