Can You Go Back? + Giveaway!!

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13649079When Elsie Chapman’s publicists first contacted me about reviewing “Divided” I was quick to say yes. I hadn’t read “Dualed” yet (even though it had been out for more than a year, and I had it sitting there waiting for me) but I remember it’s synopsis and how intriguing it sounded. But it wasn’t until I finished “Dualed” a few days ago that I realized agreeing to “Divided” might not have been the best decision. Not because I disliked it’s predecessor. (Quite the opposite actually) but because “Dualed” was a completed (no pun intended) novel. There was no cliffhanger ending, not strings that needed to by tied, for all intents and purposes (at least in my humble opinion) a one and done, stand alone novel. There was no where left to go with West’s story. As a matter of fact, the entire concept of Alts that the story was built on was no longer an issue.  A moot point if you will. But I had agreed to read it, and as a woman of my word (or at least I like to tell myself that I am) I picked up “Divided” and started to read. AND…for the first few chapters, my initial hesitation was completely justified. This book had NOWHERE to go. Then something shifted, and (excuse the language) shit got real! Suddenly West’s past came back to haunt her and her future began to taunt her. And just when I thought I had signed up for an inevitable “bad review” I was sucked in, and utterly enthralled.

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.

If you read “Dualed” (or even my review of it) then what I’m about to say will probably surprise you. West (the lead character in Divided and probably one of the easiest characters to despise) is NOT the same person you were initially introduced to. Yes, she still sometimes acts without thinking of the consequences. She hasn’t stopped her lying, or misguided sacrifices, and no…she hasn’t stop her ‘flight” tendencies, but she HAS become decidedly more open and vulnerable. Which makes her relationships with Chord, Dess, Baer, even Dire a little easier to read, and a lot more believable. She is no longer the Ice Queen perched in her delusional ice castle, she is the girl who is finally starting to understand that asking for help is sometimes the best for everyone. Even if she doesn’t like it, and it was a last resort. You know….before getting killed. The shift in her personality sparks an entirely different road when it comes to the plot in Divided as apposed to the plot in Dualed. The most significant difference being that she does NOT spend the entire novel in solo situations. As a matter of fact, there are more supporting characters in the first two chapters of this novel than there were in the entirety of Dualed. Which means more dialogue. Which means more emotional connection. Which means a more well rounded feeling novel. (Do you see where I am going with this?)

The action of Dualed (which I LOVED) is still present in it’s sequel. But instead of it being a flat out sprint through the wards (illustrating the living conditions of West’s home) the focus is much more stationary, focusing on the wealth and opportunity of The Board. (ie: tours through restricted areas, spotlights on training facilitates, transportation, clothing of the rich…) There is also more detail concerning the world OUTSIDE of her homes walls. (Which I REALLY appreciated.) Descriptions like the following one helped me understand why exactly everyone felt the need to live in a world where murder was a viable option for life.

“…reminding me of pictures of old ships that used to sail the oceans before all the waters of the world became clogged with warships and wreckage.”

Other interesting plot points that I didn’t even BEGIN to think about in Dualed…

A) What Alt’s were REQUIRED to do AFTER they completed?

B) Who built the wall to begin with?

C) What happens if you try to escape?

D) Why do Dire and Baer hate each other?

I could keep going, but it’s safe to say…I was blindsided by my inability to think outside of the box. Thankfully, Elsie Chapman was not. And because she wasn’t, I got to enjoy a story I thought was incapable of existing.

I enjoyed Dualed, there is no doubt about that, but I thrived in Divided. Conspiracy theories, misinformation, love, anger…bombs. They kept my mind reeling and my fingers moving. I couldn’t wait to turn the page. I couldn’t wait to see West’s growth (however minute it was.) And on the last page when Chapman threw out a 3rd book bone, I was HAPPY! I want more of these characters. I want to see how they cope with their decision to “be horrible together.” I want to read more about Luc’s Alt, the eventual destruction of The Board. I want to SEE what’s on the other side of that freaking wall!!!

Here’s hoping you want to too…it would be a shame not to buy a ticket on this train.

Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: “Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.” – Alice Walker

Add it to you Goodreads shelf / Amazon wishlist

Rating Report
Overall: 4


The Giveaway!!


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About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.

5 thoughts on “Can You Go Back? + Giveaway!!

  1. I have not read either of these but they sound awesome and since I broke my foot and am stuck in a chair I have LOTS of time to read….

    1. First of all… Boo!!! I’m so sorry about your foot. That blows. Bright side though, your TBR will get a little smaller. 🙂 I hope you enjoy them.

  2. I’ve been wanting to read the sequel to Dualed since I found out there actually was one, which wasn’t too long ago, because as you said everything was wrapped up pretty good at the end of the 1st one. None the less I’m glad there is another book because I did really like the first one, I’ll probably need to brush up a lil’ on the 1st book, though your review has helped a lot in remembering West and some key points that happened. So Thank-You for that, your reviews are always very informative and just all around awesome!

    1. No…YOURE AWESOME! I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who though Dualed had a pretty definite ending. Happy to help jog your memory. Happy Reading!

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