Elusion by Cheryl Klam, Claudia Gabel
Published by HarperTeen
Published on March 18th, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.
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.
Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.
The moment I saw this book’s cover and synopsis, I knew I wanted to read it. I was lucky enough to not only get a digital ARC of this book, but also an audiobook ARC as well. My review will be covering both the writing, and the narrator’s performance.
I loved the concept of this story. The idea of a virtual reality-type app that allows you to “escape” into new worlds sounds like something almost realistic to me. I feel like with the way that technology has been advancing, this could totally be feasible. This helped in keeping me engaged in the story. When the story begins, you follow Regan’s POV as she is coming to terms with the death of her father, who was the creator of Elusion. Shortly after his death, Orexis, the company her father created Elusion for, is gearing up to have the technology for sale to the general public. This endeavor is being led by Regan’s best friend (and her father’s protege), Patrick. While Regan is trying to cope with the loss of her father, she finds herself leaning on Patrick for support. She in turn works to be supportive of Patrick in his efforts to successfully run a campaign to help get Elusion in the hands of consumers nationwide. That is, until she starts hearing rumors of Elusion users having dangerous side effects, which leads Regan to start questioning everyone, and everything. (AKA TRUST ISSUES!) As Regan is tries to make sense of the speculations and theories, she finds herself allying with Josh, who is also has his reasons for seeking the truth in the matter. This sets off a chain reaction of events that lead Regan on an action-packed journey filled with betrayal, and discovery. Regan soon realizes that things are not always what they seem, and there will be a price to be paid for it.
I found that even though I was interested in the story itself, I had a little bit of a hard time connecting with Regan. Sometimes her emotions were all over the place, and when it came to the love interest(s), I didn’t feel emotionally invested in their connections either. However– I will say that this may have been influenced by the narrator’s performance in the audiobook (more about that later). I also found this book to be a little too predictable. I don’t think that there were any revelations that I didn’t see coming. BUT, regardless of that fact, I still enjoyed the story as a whole.
This narrator did NOTHING for me. It wasn’t that she was monotone, but I found the transitions between characters were confusing. At times I couldn’t follow which character was talking, and the emotion in her voice very rarely came through as genuine. There were parts where characters were in a scene that emotions were running high, and the narrator’s performance fell flat. There were times I wish I could even “skim” by speeding up the narration speed, but I don’t even think that that would’ve made things better for me in my eyes. Considering the fact that I read some of this book without audio (before I had access to the audio ARC), I think that is what helped me stay on course with continuing the story. If you’re looking for a reread, I’d say you can get the audio to do that. However, if it is your first time reading the story, I’d physically read it first.
For the book itself: 3.5 Stars
For the audiobook: 3 Stars.
an Advance Reader Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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