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Dualed Hardcover – February 26, 2013

136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

From the Editor of "Dualed"

Chelsea Eberly

I read Elsie Chapman’s chilling novel, Dualed, in one sitting on the morning it was pitched to me. The powerful, raw world of Kersh pulled me in and refused to let go. Here, teens must prepare for the day when they will have one month to hunt down and kill their Alts—twins raised by other families. Only one version of each person is worthy of the city’s limited resources. Survival means advanced schooling, work, marriage—life.

Full of action, suspense, and unexpected romance, this is a book that makes you think. What kind of society wants every adult to be a murderer? How far would you go to protect those you love? Would you be more successful if you just had different parents? How would you feel knowing that the other “you” out there might be the better version? Dualed is one of those fantastic reads where you turn the last page and then turn to the person next to you to begin talking about it. Enjoy!

—Chelsea Eberly

From Booklist

Aside from steadfast Chord, 15-year-old West has no one. But that doesn’t mean that no one is looking for her. As is tradition with every young person and his or her “Alt” (a genetic twin born to different parents), West and her double will soon be given their “assignments” and forced to hunt down each other until one is dead and the other gets to live on as an adult. Fearing her inexperience will doom her, as it did several of her siblings, West hires on as a “striker,” an assassin who “completes assignments” on behalf of wealthy Alts. But when her own assignment finally comes in, she finds herself frozen despite Chord’s constant care and prodding. The relationship between Chord and West develops realistically enough. What is less logical is West’s resistance to completing her assignment, especially in light of Chord’s undeniable love for her, and her growing experience as a killer. Despite the uneven pacing of this debut, the subject matter will attract readers who appreciate especially harsh dystopian settings and situations. Grades 7-10. --Heather Booth

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0780 (What's this?)
  • Series: Dualed
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307931544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307931542
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

ELSIE CHAPMAN grew up in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a BA in English literature. She lives in Tokyo, Japan with her husband and two children, where she writes to either movies on a loop or music turned up way too loud (and sometimes both at the same time). DUALED is her first novel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 50 people found the following review helpful By BookGeek on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This review discuses a something that happens in the first 10% of the book. It is something not discussed in the synopsis, but absolutely should have been.

West is literally running for her life for most of this book. She has gone active and has the constant knowledge that her ALT is after her. With all of this, "Dualed" lacks tension. It's annoyingly repetitive and West is just too stoic a narrator. The story starts off strong; West has just buried another sibling who was killed by their alternate. She is still in her funeral blacks when Cord, a boy she has known all of her life, goes active. (Going "Active" means that you have a month to hunt down and kill your alternate) West refuses to lose another person and pushes Cord to go after his alt immediately. This sets off a chain of action packed and heartbreaking events.

At this point, I am hungrily flipping through the pages. I'm thinking that this book is going to be great, but it isn't. The issue is that the book doesn't so much decline as it goes static. West runs around Kersh, trying to avoid her Alt and Cord, while killing strangers and innocents. In the first 10% of this book West becomes a Striker. A striker is an assassin who kills alts for those who can afford to pay. This ruined the book for me. One, because "Dualed" isn't being advertised as a book about an assassin and I felt completely blindsided. It happens so early in the book, that it blows my mind that it is not mentioned in the synopsis, the trailer or any other promotional media I have seen. Second, in a world filled with Katniss Everdeens and Rose Hathaways it is very difficult to like a heroine who kills for no reason.

The author tries to give us this spiel about how Striker's fight against the system. No.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kayla Beck on March 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Katrina @ Kindred Dreamheart on March 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Could you kill someone with your face? Could you kill at all if faced with certain death? In the world of Dualed, if you want to make it into adulthood you will become a murderer.

Dualed centers around a society when everyone has a genetic alternate complete with government medically "timed" wiring that can be activated at any time a little before or during puberty. Such internal devices make killing your twin an undebatable command. But where there are laws, there are criminals willing to break them. Where there are law abiding citizens, there's also a black market.

Dualed is told from West Grayer's point of view. Her situation instantly made me like her. She's lost a lot of her loved ones and virtually one step from homelessness on top of poverty. Her only hope for a better living situation is being activated, and yet the public school system is not up to part. With a little push, she delves into a journey of bloodshed and cowardness. While I completely understood West's hesitation, the length of it seemed a bit at olds with her initial portrayal. She was kind of a walking contradiction. I was curious to know her Alt's point of view. It's weird to automatically have an enemy from the time you are born, and while Dualed is written to make you automatically hate "the other one". It would have been nice to see things from their perspective.

Dualed was both an entertaining as well as frustrating novel. I found it difficult to get into the story right away. Mainly because I was juggling reads. Dualed is the type of novel that demands your undivided attention. West goes back and forth between the past and present, and if you're not careful you'll get lost. While West's character was a grey zone for me, I was completely in awe of the society.
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