Dualed

Dualed - Dualed was a book that I was really looking forward to. That premise sounds really interesting, doesn't it? A battle to the death against yourself. A battle to find out which of you is truly worthy of a future within the safety of their society. The idea that you aren't the only you out there, that you might not be as good as your alternate, that you might not actually be worthy of surviving until adulthood, that the society you've lived in and grown up in might not want to waste any more resources on you. I was pulled in by it immediately. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.West Grayer lives in Kersh, a safe, walled society that is free of violence and threats from the outside. The idea of a completely safe society always sounds good, but at what cost does that safety come with? In Kersh, the cost is the ultimate battle. A battle against ones own self. Figuring out a way to beat, and kill, yourself. Anytime between the ages of eleven and twenty, each citizen is given their assignment. It includes brief information about your Alt and the time (30 days later) that you will both be eliminated if neither one is successful in killing the other. When West gets her assignment, she's already been mentally broken. In a very brief time, she must put herself back together and convince herself that she is worthy of surviving. She must learn how to fight, how to stay alive, and how to protect who she loves.What should have been a high energy, action-packed, emotional thriller laced with romance was a flat, sometimes boring book with a frustratingly emotionless main character. I wanted to feel something with this book. I wanted to be faced with a character struggling with what she's been dealt, a character that truly kicks-butt, a character that deals with her emotions, or at least acknowledges them. I wanted to be forced to think about the intense situation of having to kill your own alternate, what that does to you mentally, how it feels to take someone away from the people who love them, how it feels to be worthy, or unworthy, and why this is such an accepted practice within this society. But I didn't really feel any of that was addressed. Instead I spent the book with an emotionally withdrawn character who ran from her problems and whined about her situation. She made decisions that I didn't understand at all. She was a very hard character to follow and connect with and I was beyond frustrated that I spent most of the book reading about a character who was supposed to be a well trained fighter but ended up running from her own assignment.I will say that the first few chapters were actually exactly what I thought the book would be. They were highly emotional and contained the kind of action I thought I would find in the rest of the book. They also introduced the character and the storyline that I thought would play a part in the romance that was promised. But it turns out that while the book wasn't afraid to start off with a bang, it quickly ran out of steam. And I think that might be the most frustrating thing about the whole book, that a few chapters lived up to the expectations but that the rest of the book wasn't even close.Final Thoughts: I don't really have a lot to say about this book other than that it was a disappointment. I wanted the main character to be stronger, smarter, more emotional, and more easily understood. I wanted to be forced to feel more, to think more. The book just dropped off as soon as West got her assignment to kill her Alt and the readers are left wondering why that was the least exciting part of the whole book. Also, don't let the summary fool you, there is no romance in this book. I loved the Chord character, but the 'romance' is completely cold and almost non-existent. That might be a plus for you, I certainly don't always need a romance for a book to be good, but if it's going to be a selling point, then it should be there. I gave Dualed 2 stars and would only recommend it if you are still curious enough to want to read it.