From the Editor of "Dualed"
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!
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