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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Review: Divided (Dualed #2) by Elsie Chapman

(Dualed #2)
Elsie Chapman
Random House

The hunter becomes the hunted. . . .
West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life.
The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future.
How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves? With nonstop action and surprising twists, Elsie Chapman’s intoxicating sequel to Dualed reveals everything.

Last year, Elsie Chapman’s Dualed thrilled and enthralled me with it’s unique, twisted premise and surprising heroine, and I’m happy to report that the second book in this duology, Divided, is a solid, equally captivating read, with plenty of action, twists, and romance.

West Grayer thought she was done killing. Her Alt is dead and West is deemed the worthy one, but then the Board comes to her with an offer she really can’t refuse: just three more kills and West can finally be free of her past. But when one of her targets turns out to be eerily familiar and long silenced truths start trickling out, West must decide what and who is worth killing for.

Picking up several months after the ending of Dualed, in Divided we find our unexpected heroine, West, grappling with her Striker past and bravely trying to forge a future for her and her boyfriend Chord...something the Board is not making easy. Once again, Elsie Chapman has crafted an intelligent and thought-provoking story with complex layers, page-turning action, and wonderfully built characters.

Over the course of these two books, I’ve come to really connect with and root for West as she bravely and desperately tries to survive in this intense, almost impossible dystopian world. West isn’t your typical YA heroine, which makes her that much more fascinating and relatable. She’s so breathtakingly flawed and real; as selfish as she is protective. She’s a killer and her reasons for killing are not always noble; she doesn’t enjoy killing, but she doesn’t kill simply out of survival either. Chapman does a superb job of delving into the psychological and mental complexities of this girl. West is put into impossible, terrifying, heartbreaking situations and I loved every twisty minute of wondering how she would get out of them.

And this dystopian world is further explored and expanded in Divided. Chapman takes us deeper into Kersh’s torrid history and exposes some of it’s surprising secrets. I feel like I got a much better sense of this society and its reasons for making Alts, in book two. However, I still found the overall world-building a bit lacking and incomplete. I know the main focus of this duology is on West and the walled city she lives in, but I really wanted to learn more about the Surround...mostly because Chapman does such a great job of building such intrigue about it!

There’s quite a bit more romance in this book than in book one, and I actually really enjoyed these elements. West and Chord have a very sweet, yet intense and realistic romance. This is most definitely not insta-love or make-you-wanna-puke-cheesy-love either.
Thankfully, Chapman gives readers, and West, a satisfying, yet unexpected ending...but, I’d TOTALLY be up for more thrilling escapades with West ;)

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: With its exciting twists and turns and thought-provoking premise, Divided is a thoroughly engrossing and entertaining ending to a wonderfully innovative duology.


ELSIE CHAPMAN grew up in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a BA in English literature. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children, where she writes to either movies on a loop or music turned up way too loud (and sometimes both at the same time). For more information, please visit Elsie at

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