Can I Get the Alt Version?

Dualed by Elsie Chapman


First Look:

Cool dystopian-esque city view.  I like that the shadow is different, but I almost think it’s too subtle.  Maybe if they switched the knife & the gun from girl to shadow.

Jacket Copy:

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.


Yes, Divided should be out next year.  However, Dualed seemed like a complete story to me.

Worth Reading?


I find myself at a bit of a loss.  There was some decent (though not brilliant) writing (as far as actual mechanics and plot), but some really flawed worldbuilding.

Notable Things:


Hunger Games!  Only you have to kill your identical twin (whom you have not grown up with, but still)!  Maybe my memory of the HG books has dimmed, but the violence and killing in Dualed somehow felt even more cold-blooded than in Hunger Games.  Maybe it’s because there was less questioning of the violence from the text.  West just seemed like she bought into the leaders’ propaganda much more than Katniss ever did.


No, Seriously, What Is Up With The Worldbuilding?  Here is a short list of things I thought were illogical/otherwise stupid:

* Why twins? The stated reason is so that they can find each other, but wouldn’t they prove themselves better as soldiers if they could find & kill each other without identical faces?

* “Assist Kills” are illegal, but apparently you can go along and trap the Alt in a corner for your friend, just not actually kill them?

* You can be “activated” (told that it’s time to kill your Alt) anytime from 10-20 years of age, so why does combat training only start at 13 and weapons at 16?

* Assassins for hire, who are illegal and secret, have tattoos on their wrists.  Not so secret. Supposedly it’s so they can’t cut them off, but how about over the heart?  The soles of the feet?


In spite of all this, I did mostly enjoy the story, especially once the worldbuilding was no longer being introduced.  Once I could just focus on the action, it was very enjoyable.  But I still don’t know if I can really recommend it, because worldbuilding is so key to me.  It was such a great concept, which just needed a little more hammering out.  I don’t think I’ll be reading the next book, since this felt like a complete story, and I have a feeling that any further installments will just cause me the same annoyances.


Borrowed audio version from work.


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