Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Elusion Duology by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Synopsis for Elusion:
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.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

Synopsis for Etherworld:
In this sequel to Elusion, three teens fight a virtual reality program that threatens to destroy their minds. Dangerous secrets and lies add up to a thrilling futuristic fantasy with an Inception-inspired twist.

Elusion was hailed as an exciting leap in technology—until users began to disappear amid rumors of addiction. Regan’s search for the truth led her and her new love interest, Josh, to Etherworld. Etherworld is a dimension hidden deep beyond Elusion's firewall, where players can hide, and ultimately fight back. Regan's father and others are here working to destroy Etherworld, but the longer they stay the less likely they'll be able to return to the real world alive.

Escape means attacking Elusion from within the program. It's dangerous and it’s a puzzle. And even if they manage it, how will they be able to stop Orexis from distributing Elusion to the masses when the people who run it are corrupt?

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Recently, I have decided that I want to try to listen to more audiobooks. Some authors are starting to release their books on Audible before ebook or print. Therefore, I would like to try to get used to audiobooks. I checked it what my library offered via Overdrive, their online audiobook and ebook service. I saw that they had the Elusion duology, which I've been wanting to read for a while, and decided to give it a try. I thought it was an enjoyable series to read. 

The first book took a little while to get into. Elusion wasn't fully explained, which made everything a little confusing at first. However, once I got the gist of things, I found myself really loving the story. The way the plot of Elusion flowed, it was almost like listening to one of those old-time radio shows. It kept me on the edge of my seat. When I thought the series couldn't get any more exciting, Etherworld began and everything I thought I knew was flipped upside down. I loved all the twists and turns throughout the series. It was action-packed right up until the last few minutes of the book. I had no idea what was going to happen in the end, and I loved every second of it.

Maybe it's because I was listening to the duology on audiobook, but my biggest problem with the series was that I felt incredibly disconnected from the characters. I'm not used to listening to audiobooks though, so it could have been because of that instead of the writing. Either way, it kept taking me out of the storyline. The best way I can describe it is that it was like watching a play, where are the actors overact their characters. It felt very fake and forced. Once I would start really liking one of the characters, that feeling would come back again. It made it hard to fully immerse myself into the story, and get emotionally involved in the characters. By the end, there were a couple of characters that I really liked. However, for the most part, I didn't really care who lived or died.

Despite not liking the characters, I did find this book enjoyable to read. The plot was fast-paced, and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. I greatly enjoyed the futuristic setting in our world. I hope that the author continues to write dystopian books. I will gladly read anything else she releases in the future. Unfortunately, I can't find anything on Goodreads about her writing another series. If she does, now that she has more experience with writing, I'm sure I will love her next book even more.

I give the Elusion Duology: 3.5/5.

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I received this duology from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.