A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.
I was dying to read author Elsie Chapman’s Dualed when it was first released and have been waiting to read its sequel Divided. Dualed was nothing but action, romance and a thrilling pace set in a dystopian world where every child born has an Alt (a.k.a. a clone that they’ll have to kill at one point in the future to ensure their own survival). Based on how Divided was and how it ended I have had very high expectations for Divided and am pleased to say they were met. Divided holds onto pieces from Dualed while also introducing new elements of the plot and new characters. The stakes are raised and nothing for West Grayer will be the same.
Divided takes place months after the events that occurred in Dualed and West has begun to get a handle on her life. She’s left her life as a killer and striker behind her and is prepared to move on up until the Board interferes. They offer West a deal she can’t refuse—salvation for her future with her boyfriend—but only if she goes and kills again. When West discovers her target as well as secrets that the Board has been doing their very best to keep hidden she will have to use every skill she has to come out victorious. The only thing for certain is that nothing will ever be the same.
A problem that I have mostly with series that have unique premises in their first book is that the second tends to lose their charm. Dualed was all about badass West killing her Alt and now with her Alt gone what could happen in Divided? Obviously the novel won’t be about West killing her Alt so what could happen? I was a bit nervous that the novel would lose its action-packedness and that West wouldn’t be as badass but that wasn’t the case at all in Dualed. In Dualed we see all of the impacts that have been had on West from being a striker and how it’s changed her character. Who she was at the end of Dualed is an entirely different person than who she becomes by the end of Divided. There’s a lot of crucial character development in Divided that change not only West’s character but also change the entire world that’s been built up in Dualed.
Apart from West’s character development there’s still a lot more action introduced into Divided to go alongside new characters, new weapons and a new imposing threat. The amount of action in comparison to Dualed is pretty equal but the scenes are all the more badass. Among the new characters that are introduced many are ‘ghosts’ from West’s past and play major roles in the plot twists and unexpected changes in the plot.
Chapman’s writing in Divided flows easily. Her writing style makes the novel read smoothly and is consistently simple. My only problem with the writing was that during the romantic scenes between West and Chord felt very distant. Though his gestures and actions were sweet I didn’t feel as in love with Chord as I have with other male romantic interested in YA. Though the fighting scenes were written in a very descriptive way the romantic scenes were very lacking in that area. For example there was just a lot of ‘he kissed me’ without any emotional details or further detailing.
Still I can’t wait to find out what happens to next to West and company. I’m hoping that the next novel in the series will be explosive and maintain this fast pace. I would recommend the Dualed novels to readers who are fans of action, strong female leads and to any readers who want a novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Happy reading!