April 16, 2015

Shelley Liked It: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Series: Elusion # 1
Format: E-Book | 382 pages
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and 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.

Written by co-authors by Claudia Gabel, and Cheryl Klam, ELUSION is a young adult, science fiction story featuring 16-year old Regan Welch as the narrator. The story is set in a futuristic Detroit where people live in an environment of grease clouds, and acid rain, while wearing air purifiers and using umbrella's in order to survive. ELUSION has a bit of mystery, suspense, conspiracies, and romance to keep the reader engaged in what's going on. The world building, especially in the Escapes, is very vivid, imaginary, and a highlight of the story itself.

As a heroine, Regan is forced between a rock (her father's dream invention) and a hard place (her best friend Patrick). As the daughter of the inventor who supposedly lost in a strange accident 6 months ago, she believes that she has a responsibility to uphold her father's honor and legacy, while not letting others tear it apart. Although a bit on the over eager side of things once we first meet her, Regan doesn't blindly follow things without digging deep into the mystery, or finding a new ally in Josh Heywood, or ignoring a conspiracy theorist who claims there is something really wrong with ELUSION.

For me, ELUSION was such an interesting story, especially the last 20 percent of the book. I do love Gabel and Klam's world where with just an app, ear buds, a visor, and a wristband, you can escape from everyday's drudge into a world where everything is better than the real world. Citizen's in this world, must not only work a 7 hour day, sometimes 12 hour days, but go to school 7 days a week as well. Could you imagine the uproar if today's kids were forced into attending school on weekends, or during summer vacation? 

ELUSION is an original concept, and not one that we've been stuck with over and over again. Perhaps the authors could have managed to do a bit more world building, and explained how we got to this point. I like the idea of a Virtual Reality setting where people can get away from the awfulness of their lives. There is definitely the feeling of deviousness in the story as well, and the author duo does a good job of waiting until the very end to unveil the actual villains of the series. 

I wouldn't necessary say that there is a love triangle romance in ELUSION, but it does come close. Regan and her best friend Patrick are at the center of almost everything that happens in the book, but they are not alone. I never felt that Regan was interested in Patrick as a romantic interest. I did find the arrival of Josh a bit too coincidental, as well as how things eventually turn in the story. There IS obvious jealously involved between Josh and Patrick. I doubt anyone would be surprised if your best friend suddenly finds someone else they want to be around.

ELUSION is a part of a two-book duology, so, I think I am just going to move right into the sequel Etherworld. I should have read this sooner! 

Other books in series:

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  1. Hmmm I'm liking the cover. As soon as you said YA in my head I was like is there a love triangle.

    1. That was one of my worries as well. But, I assure you, everything works out.

  2. I have this one on my shelf but haven't had a strong urge to pick it up. I definitely think I need to be in the right mood. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it though!

  3. This does sound interesting and fresh, Shelley. Hopefully the sequel will have a little more in the world building department. :)

  4. If I had to work or go to school that much, seriously, there would be no reason to live. Interesting concept though.

  5. Wait, are you sure you're describing the futuristic Detroit and not the current one? Kidding. This does sound interesting though.

    1. LOL You make a good point. No place I'd want to live. That's for sure.

  6. It sounds like a nice one and who don't love to have a different concept? It's always so awesome. I'm curious now about the last 20% of the book! thanks for the review.

  7. It's always great when you see something new. We read a LOT of books and at this point, we've probably seen most of what the genre can offer. It's so saturated by the same things so the fact that this offers something fresh is a good thing.

  8. I love your reviews. I love books and reading them a lot.


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