Two of you exist.
Only one will survive.
The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate - a twin raised by another family - and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage - life.
Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.
Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.
©2013 Elsie Chapman (P)2013 Listening Library
Fantastic dystopian concept with moral qualms, heart thumping action, tragedy & love, but at the end, I was left disappointed. Government corruption was alluded to but never addressed, moral questions were raised but never processed. The main character contemplated these issues then they were forgotten, lost in a love story.
A great dystopian novel wouldn't gloss over and pretend the government corruption is acceptable or that the main character is perfectly content to have complied with that corruption.
Here are the facts:
1) The government brings together 2 couple's DNA to create twins (called alts) who are separated at birth and raised in completely different environments, supposedly because there is not enough resources for both alts- though parents seem to be able to register for as many children as they want (West's parents had 4).
2) Each alt is raised and at the age of ten they begin training in weapons & defense which is when they can officially become 'active' in their assignment to find & murder their alt at which point they become a 'complete.' Completes receive better treatment than those who are 'Incomplete,' almost as if they are second rate humans until they have reached Complete status.
3) The Alt who murders first is the more perfect version and the one who dies is undeserving of Complete status. However, the main character struggles with this idea since 2 of her siblings were killed by their Alts and she can't process how they could have been undeserving, and their lives meaningless.
4) The main character then overcomes her feelings of undeserving, conforms to the government's rules, completes her assignment as per activation instructions, and lives happily ever after with her love interest despite her entire family and his having been killed due to this practice.
Probably not. Her ideas are amazing, but she left me with a feeling of unresolved tension. Important moral questions were obvious in her book Dualed, where twins are required to hunt down and kill one another for the right to be a 'complete' member of society, but she focused on the love interest of the story.
I enjoyed Cord. Alicyn did a great job of voicing characters' emotions during her reading which drew me into the story.
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