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Monday, September 7, 2015

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Audiobook Review: Dualed by Elsie Chapman (Procrastination)

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed #1
Elsie Chapman
Narrator: Alicyn Packard
Length: 9 Hours, 59 Minutes
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Listening Library
Reviewer: Sophia

The Hunger Games meets Matched in this high-concept thriller where citizens must prove their worth by defeating the other version of themselves – their twin.

Two of you exist. Only one will survive.

West Grayer is ready. She's trained for years to confront her Alternate, a twin raised by another family. Survival means a good job, marriage – life.

But then a tragic misstep leaves West questioning: Is she 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 herself, but also from love... though both have the power to destroy her.

Fast-paced and unpredictable, Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a chilling, unforgettable world.

As Faye from The Social Potato puts it, this is about "assassin twins."

For some weird reason, I liked the idea. Come on, thirty days to kill your supposedly "evil" twin before both of you self-detonate? Totally up my alley.

That, however, does not mean I'm secretly a serial killer with a freakishly high IQ and gets a high off from killing people. (However, Lupe is still worried about my future regardless of my feeble protests. I think she's really just worried about the romance department, but I'm not exactly a mind reader despite our six plus years of friendship.)

Anyways, I'm getting off-topic. Dualed is about assassin twins (I take no credit). In a bit of a contradiction to Faye, who summed this up perfectly, I'll say Dualed stalls. It's either the book stalls or West Grayer is a procrastinator. She's been training for years to kill her Alt (which I suppose are like "evil" twins, but Alts aren't necessarily "evil"), but then she finally gets her assignment.

As expected, it probably feels like a bulldozer has just plowed into you – I know I would be panicking all over the place. I totally understand why West feels like she doesn't have enough training and decides to do something entirely illegal in The Board's eyes – killing someone else's Alt, otherwise known as a striker. (Though in my case I'll probably turn into Hermione. Dye my hair blonde and make it curly than wavy. Claim I'm a Gryffindor and best friends with Harry Potter. Plan religiously and then go after my Alt with my wand crossed with my finger.)

I just felt that West waited until almost the last minute (read: the last couple of days) to go after her Alt. She's going after everyone else's Alt as a striker while her days are counting down down down and when her friend Chord confronts her about it, she just makes an excuse. It's one of those excuses you come up with lamely just to come up with one and when the "interrogator" fires back, you just end up speechless.

(Really it's just screaming "Lies lies lies so let me come up with an excuse in the hopes I won't be questioned further" all over.)

But the book just doesn't feel like it stalls. In fact, it doesn't stall. Dualed is very fast-paced, action-packed, and when West 1.0 (the main) meets West 2.0 (the Alt), it'll leave your heart pounding as the two go neck to neck for the chance to survive. (The dark and evil side of me goes: Yeah! Blood and gore! *plays upbeat action music*) In comparison to a lot of dystopians out there, this is actually a refreshingly new idea that'll attract bees to the honey.

(I totally said that. Did it sound weird? My bad.)

So here's my ultimatum: West Grayer is a procrastinator. At the exact same time she starts questioning The Board while taking on striker duties and running away from her Alt. She finally realizes (or maybe Chord just verbally slaps her upside the head and it came through AT LAST) if she wants to live happily ever after as The Board says, she'll have to take the initiative and pounce before her Alt does it to her.

Overall, Dualed wasn't bad to listen to. Alicyn Packard definitely isn't my type of narrator, but I won't complain. I've finally figured out my favorite types of narrators are usually those who do a variety of different voices (one day I'm going to come across a cast and it'll be MIND EAR BLOWING). I give up on commenting on the narration of audiobooks unless it's really good or really bad.

3.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.