Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Early Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Release date: March 18, 2014
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Digital ARC via Edelweiss
Buy links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, a visor, and a 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.

I loved the concept of Elusion and could easily visualize a world where every train ride, every cafe, and every home is filled with people who have abandoned human interaction in exchange for a virtual escape. With Elusion, you can spend your lunch break skiing in the mountains or soaking up the sun by the beach. This idea becomes even more appealing in a world where O2 shields are needed due to the poor air quality and oil-proof vinyl umbrellas protect you from the acid rain.

I enjoyed Elusion's storyline and the mystery involved. The protagonist, Regan, is the daughter of the man responsible for creating Elusion. When it's discovered that Elusion has the potential to be dangerous, Regan's initial reaction is to defend her deceased father's work. But when strange things begin happening to her and she starts to suspect that she is being told more lies than truths, Regan decides to discover the answers for herself. 

The characters in this story weren't among the unique variety. They're characters that blend in with the rest of those in the YA genre so I'm finding that there really isn't much to say about them. There is a love triangle of sorts, but feelings aren't reciprocated on one end so you don't have to deal with reading about the typical back and forth thoughts on which boy is "the one". 

Elusion is a unique young adult debut that should appeal to fans of both science fiction and fantasy. The ending is left wide open for a sequel and I'm definitely interested in finding out what happens next.


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