Sunday, March 2, 2014

BETA - book review

Image via Goodreads

BETA (overview from Goodreads)

"In a world constructed to absolute perfection, imperfection is difficult to understand—and impossible to hide.

Elysia is a clone, created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen year old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of teenaged clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to be created.

Elysia’s purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air there induces a strange, euphoric high that only the island’s workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to.

At first, Elysia’s new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne’s human residents, the most privileged people in the world who should want for nothing, yearn. And, she comes to realize that beneath its flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent amongst Demesne’s worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care—so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia’s mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn’t the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When Elysia’s one chance at happiness is ripped away from her with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she’s always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive."

I had really high hopes for this book. I was however disappointed. The first parts of the book were boring for me. There isn't a whole lot happening. It wasn't really until the last few chapters of the book that I started becoming really interested in the twists and turns of the story. I think some of my dislike for the book comes from not being able to relate to Elysia. Which is understandable. She's a clone. She's supposedly soulless. Throughout the book she does become more and more human like. Towards the end of the book I did find myself liking her a little more.

The book takes place on Demesne. It is paradise. One thing the writer did really well was make Demesne believable. You can really picture what this place looks like. The major conflict in the book is that some of the clones seem to "awaken". They are starting to make their own decisions. They are beginning to want. They are forming a resistance called the Insurrection. Since this is the conflict in the story you would think there would be a lot of time spent on it. There isn't. I kept waiting for something big to happen. Most of the book is spent following Elysia while she hangs out with her "friends". We see the teens on the island do raxia over and over again. Raxia is a drug that basically makes the teens relax and happily go to sleep. We're involved in Elysia's love life, if you could call it that. She thinks she loves this guy because he is "aesthetically pleasing". It just seemed like there was a whole lot of nothing going on for a very long time and then at the end you're rushed into excitement in hopes that it will make you read the next book.

I most likely won't. I would have enjoyed the book more if it had focused more on the clone rebellion and less on Elysia's clothes, diving abilities, time spent playing video games, and love of chocolate.

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