March 7, 2013

Review of Dualed by Elsie Chapman



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.

add to goodreadsDualed (Dualed #1) by Elsie Chapman
Publication Date:  February 26, 2013
Publisher:  Random House Books for Young Readers

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo | amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewThere is one novel that I have been highly anticipating since the start of 2013 and that is Dualed by author Elsie Chapman. From the moment I discovered its’ existence on Goodreads late in 2012 I have been dying to read this novel. So, when I finally got my hands on it, I re-read the description and dove right in. After finishing the emotional and action-packed first chapter, I was positive that Dualed would be a novel without compare in my mind and by the time I finished it my obscenely high expectations were met (for the most part).

Dualed takes place in a dystopic future and a city called Kersh. With the world being ravaged by war, to get the right to live inside of Kersh comes with a high price and those who meet that price are granted the ability to live a real life. What is the price to live? Every citizen in Kersh is born with a twin or Alt that is raised by another family. Between a certain age group both twins are given their assignment. A series of numeric codes enter their eyes and both twins know that they will have to face-off against each other and battle until only one twin is living. After her brother’s best friend Chord’s assignment goes wrong and results in the death of her brother, main character West Grayer finds herself caught in a hard place. When the opportunity is presented West becomes a striker that is hired by citizens to assassinate their Alts and help them cheat. Just as West is getting into the swing of things her assignment comes knocking literally at her door and West finds herself fighting for the right to survive at any means necessary. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that there are no limits to be the one and to be worthy.

I did expect more romance from the novel especially between West and Chord, while there is some flirting and some a kiss I still wanted a bit more and found myself a bit let down. Just a note for any readers that are expecting a read that is dripping with romance. Dualed is a lot of things. Awesome is a word that could be used to describe the novel however romantic is not one of them. On the topic of words that could describe Dualed action-packed is definitely one of them. What is the one thing that I didn’t expect from the novel? Assassins and futuristic assassins at that. Maybe I just didn’t piece it together from the description, I don’t know, but the last thing I thought I would find from Dualed would be assassins.

 As you can imagine when West becomes an assassin—excuse me striker I was a little bit mind blown and falling in love at the same time. The entire lore behind the strikers and their cloudy past had me intrigued. The trained killers in Dualed instantly had me thinking of the movie Looper and of all the novels I’ve read in the past. There are always other strikers ready to be hired and after an encounter with her Alt, West finds out that her Alt has hired a striker. Yes that does mean that there is some assassin vs. assassin action in the novel (score!).

One thing that I think a lot of readers will enjoy about the novel is how easy it is to get lost in the Dualed world. Everything from the mystery behind how the world has become war-torn to who is chosen to decide how Kersh is ruled left me dying to know more about the novel. The only other series I can compare Dualed to has to be the Legend series by author Marie Lu. For those of you who have read the series thus far you know that there is badassery and a government that is left shadowy for a reason. Do I expect the secrets behind the Dualed system to be revealed in its sequel? Oh yes. After the awesomeness that was Dualed I cannot wait for the sequel and to see what happens next. Will the death toll rise? I need to know!

I would recommend Dualed to readers who are looking for a novel that will leave them dying for more and readers who need an action fix a.s.a.p. This is definitely a series that I think people should watch out for and on that note… *this review concludes here*

About the Author:

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

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Brooke

    I wanted so much more out of this. It starts with a bang, then it slows so much, I was kind of bored at parts. Then it picks up at the end. I am wondering where it’s going to go, to be honest. I would have thought she would have spend more time looking for her assasin but she focused on other things and that bothered me. I will still read the next book, b/c I am curious where it will go since the ending kind of wrapped things up.

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    As reviews have been so mixed on this, I am delighted to hear you enjoyed it for the most part.

  3. Great review. I am happy to find someone who liked this. I am looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  4. Lily

    Like you I had a LOT of problems with this book. I just read and reviewed it too and thought that the whole idea behind “Dualed” was a good one– if only it were executed better. I gave it a 2.5 and I’m still struggling with a lot of the things with this book but i think my overall curouisty will win out next year and I’ll probably check out from my library the next book, just to see how it all ends.

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