Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day and review of Divided by Elsie Chapman

                First and foremost Happy Memorial Day everyone.  I hope you all enjoy your day and thank those who have fought so hard for us to enjoy our lives and freedoms. 

                It was my great pleasure to receive another sequel to read and review thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children's.  It was provided to me for an honest opinion and as I enjoyed the first book I was eager to read book 2 which comes out tomorrow, May 27th. 
                Divided by Elsie Chapman is the sequel to the Dualed which I previously reviewed here.  A dystopian series about a world protected from the Surround, the only catch to live in the safety  you must prove yourself and be a killer.  Each person is born with an Alt, an alternate them which upon activation both Alts have 30 days to find one another and kill.  Only one can live if neither finishes both die.  Only the worthy can live and protect the city if the walls should ever fall.  A tough society.  Everyone who completes is considered worthy and accept for few acceptations, a killer.  Now from here there are spoilers for Book 1 so read on at your own risk.     
Dualed we left our main character West dealing with her completion and adjusting to what she did by becoming a striker, assassin for hire, to hone her skills and dull out the pain of losing the last of her family.  Some may not agree with her choice.  I personally look at it from an objective angle.  I'm not in that situation, thankfully, and enjoy the ride.  Besides if characters made decisions we wanted every single time there wouldn't be any story and wouldn’t be unique.  Now West is done with that life, only the nightmares and marks to remind her.  She has plans for her future with Chord, as a complete, making plans is more real and solid. 

                That is until a head honcho from the board, those who control everything, approaches West with an offer she can't refuse.  Become a striker again for 3 unworthies for a chance at something much more precious.  Is anything worth going back to that?  And is there really a choice?  What happens when she realizes she's been lied to and in order to secure her future she'll have to dig deeper to get to the bottom of things without endangering everyone she has left.

                Much like Dualed this book is not only about the action and violence as it may seem but more importantly it's about ones struggle of self worth.  West has been through so much and is just starting to get her feet on solid ground when the rug is ripped out from under her yet again.  Life is all about the choices we make and how we live our lives. 
It's not always this clear...

                As a character, West is different and I don't always agree with her train of thought sure but I can see her struggle with it and that back and forth with oneself.  Still I like her and root for her get through it.  See where she saw a choice given to her I didn't.  I saw a threat laid out like a choice which is how I looked at everything that happened and sometimes when she would go through her rationalizations though I might not agree I still enjoyed hearing her ideas.  Then you have the sturdy Chord who is her rock and you had to admit easy to love.  He struggles with the past like West and with everything she does now but he loves her and he wants to be there for her even when he struggles to accept some things. 

                In Divided we get a better understanding of the world itself.  Before it as about the Alts and the program to keep them all strong.  Now we see more into that and how it came about, which was really interesting and have much more dimension.  Seeing behind the curtain of the world and how it ticks and everyone works inside like bees of a hive.  I give Divided 4-4.5 Stars.  It had everything I expected in a sequel and I enjoyed it.  Share your thoughts and comments below, I want to know what you think about this series and/or premise. 


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