Sunday, March 2, 2014

Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Title: Elusion
Author: Claudia Gabel, Cheryl Klam
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: 18 March, 2014
Source: Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.51 out of 5.00 (80+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.
Review by Nara

I'm really curious as to how collaboration works when there's only one POV character. Do the authors alternate between chapters? How do they make sure that the writing style and voice of the protagonist remain the same? So many questions! In any case, this must have been quite a good collaboration because I noticed no shifts in tone or character voice or anything like that.

One thing I can say about the writing is that the suspense is done very well, although I must admit that the mystery was pretty typical and predictable. There aren't really any big twists or surprises; the plot hardly deviates from the obvious. Still, I didn't mind that because the execution of the suspense, pace and action was done quite nicely.

I must say that I didn't really like the romance. I mean, when suspicions about Elusion being addictive and dangerous pop up, Regan suddenly trusts this random guy she's only known for a few days over her best friend who she's known since childhood. Sounds legit. I wonder why she trusts him so much. It can't be anything to do with his stellar looks *cough cough*. When they then go to investigate these suspicions, knowing they have limited time they're allowed to be in Elusion (there's a one hour time limit, as spending more time than that in Elusion can result in brain damage or some such thing), they waste time by making out. DUDES. PRIORITIES. You only have to wait a freaking hour before you can make out to your hearts' content in the real world. ONE. FREAKING. HOUR.

Ahem, anyway, moving on, world building was pretty well done on the whole- this is certainly a world which could possibly be our world in the future. From acid rain so bad that special heavy duty umbrellas have to be used to oxygen levels so low that everyone has to go around with "oxygen shields", yep, I can definitely see it happening. Similarly, on the whole, the scientific background behind Elusion seemed pretty solid (although I don't know too much about neurochemistry so I can't say for sure if it actually was legit haha). There is perhaps a lack of back-story as to how the world ended up being the one it is in the book, but I don't think that this is something that always has to be included in a book. I mean, authors don't include the history of Earth in a contemporary.

It does seem as if there are a lot more science fiction books in YA these days, which is most definitely a change that I approve of. If you enjoy sci-fi books, this is certainly one that I'd recommend.

p.s. dat cover.

Liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 5/5