Reviews for Dualed
Booklist Reviews 2013 April #2
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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Just after suffering a huge blow to her confidence, West is given the standard one month to find and kill her Alt, her genetic double, to prove that she's the better version. Before the month passes, West must prove to herself that she deserves to survive. There's action and romance aplenty, but West's journey of self-discovery is the real compelling narrative.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 January #1
Violent teen dystopias are nothing new, but this debut, in which every character is or soon will be a killer, kicks it up a notch. Ever since a vaccine gone wrong rendered the population sterile, humans have been bioengineered. In the well-fortified city-state of Kersh, the ruling Board creates a genetic double (Alt) for every newborn; they are raised in separate families. Sometime between the ages of 10 and 20, each Alt is "assigned" without notice to kill the other within 30 days; if neither succeeds, the Board terminates both. (The rationale--breeding a population of soldiers to repel invasion--makes little sense.) Successful killers ("completes") move on guilt-free to better food, schools, marriages and careers. When their friend Chord gets his assignment, Luc's efforts to keep his sister, West, from involving herself end disastrously. Remorseful, West takes up contract killing. Fighting back, overthrowing the Board or sabotaging the system never occur to her, even as a fantasy. A few characters condemn class privilege (rich Alts can afford better training and hired killers) but rebel, puzzlingly, by becoming hired killers themselves. No one finds the price of safety too high to accept. Readers untroubled by brutal, compassion-free violence will find plenty to admire in Chapman's gamer pacing, clever suspense--here, stalking is a two-way street--and fast-mounting body count. (Dystopian adventure. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #4
Stylish, frenetic, and violent, Chapman's debut is the textual equivalent of a Quentin Tarantino movie. The star is West Grayer, the 15-year-old sole survivor of what was once a family of six. Her mother became collateral damage in a state-sanctioned assassination; her father committed suicide; two siblings were also assassination targets; and the third was another collateral victim. This is all fairly normal, because West lives in an assassination-based society where children are bred in pairs, but raised separately. When the state decides it's time--anywhere between ages 10 and 20--the twins are notified, and a lethal game of hide-and-seek begins, with the winner awarded the privileges of living and breeding. It's how the state creates a defense-ready population. Parents scarcely object: one mother says to a targeted teen, "his is not the time to be testing my patience," as though imminent death were roughly on par with breaking curfew. The brutality is no worse than in The Hunger Games or dozens of other entertainment options, but the societal nonchalance that surrounds it makes for a dismal setting. Ages 12-up. Agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
VOYA Reviews 2013 February
Twins take on a new meaning in Chapman's story about a society that genetically creates a doppelganger of all their citizens. Each copy is raised by separate families and grows up training for the day the call comes in, without notice, to track down their double and eliminate them. Fifteen-year-old West Grayer witnesses the murder of her brother, Luc, her last remaining family member, at the hand of his best friend Chord's "alt." West has feelings for Chord and becomes emotionally unstable over what has taken place. Chord promised Luc he would take care of West, but she fears she will lose him, too. She signs up to be a "striker," an illegally hired assassin that kills look-alikes. What follows is a brutal, but very human, story about life, love, and death in a world where the weak fall to the "worthy" and people must fight to "be the one, be worthy" or be eradicated. Chapman has written a dystopian novel that is frightening and full of unexpected turns centered on an endurance test of a different kind--a battle of the twins--enacted by a government that suppresses its people and instills fear by concocting a plan worthy of an evil scientist. Fans of the latest crop of speculative fiction, such as the Divergent trilogy, will want to read this imaginative tale that is reminiscent of a futuristic version of William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies.--Tanya Paglia 4Q 4P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.