Author: Rachel Cohn
Published: October 16th 2012 by Hyperion
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist. Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers--soulless clones like Elysia--are immune to. At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing Elysia's mind? If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi-ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.
I Give This ...
Oh man I wanted this to be good. I loved the idea of robot clones created from a human counterpart upon their death. It just sounds awesome. But sadly, I was extremely underwhelmed by this book.
I think my problem lies with Elysia. She's not an annoying character, but she isn't exciting either. She's just dull. She's created to be soulless and blindly follow all orders given to her. Sorry that I don't get all wound up because she likes the taste of chocolate when she shouldn't have any feeling about it at all. I felt like so much of her actions lack any heart and soul. Which really makes me wonder if she was rogue at all. I guess if she's was completely robotic, she wouldn't question every little around her. But sometimes her questions seem idiotic. I think she would have given herself away as rogue long before she did.
I never really latched on to the secondary characters as well. Elysia latches on to Tahir instantly, while it too me almost as long to figure out his secret. I found the family Elysia lives with to be shallow and a little appalling when it came to their treatment of their clones. They definitely don't seem them as people.
The only think that kept me reading is that I was curious how this island worked. Why would people want clones based off a human counterpart? Why are so many of them going rogue? What secrets is everyone hiding? While I did get some answers, I'm not sure I'm invested enough to read the next in the series.