Sunday, 9 March 2014

Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Title: Elusion
Authors: Claudia Gable and Cheryl Klam
Release date: March 18th 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 252
Source: Edelweiss

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.

The thing that first drew me towards Elusion was the cover. Don't you just adore it? I think it also really fits with the theme of the novel. After reading, I can say that this is definitely unique and intriguing from the beginning. The suspense was great too, but there were a few things I found lacking.

I loved the originality of the premise. Elusion is a computer program that can take you into a virtual world, where you can visit any place you want, and it makes you feel amazing. There are side effects, but most people would willingly endure the Aftershocks for an hour in Elusion. But that's where the problem begins, when kids start becoming addicted and manage to get past the safety measures that prohibit staying in Elusion for longer than an hour.

Regan's dad created Elusion, and she couldn't be more proud of him for it. But when he's killed, she can't bring herself to go back to the supposed paradise he created. Regan's best friend, Patrick, takes over control of the software, since he was her dad's protégé. But things soon start to go wrong, and Regan realizes Elusion isn't as safe as she'd always thought. And she needs to fix things before it's too late.

The scientific aspect of this book is awesome, and it was great to see that the authors have definitely done their research. They know what they're talking about, and the detail we get about the Elusion software is fantastic. But I felt that at times the jargon got a bit too technical, and that interrupted the smooth flow in the writing. I love science, but mostly chemistry and physics - so the neuroscience parts were hard to grasp, though definitely interesting.

I liked Regan's character well enough - she's smart and resourceful, and I liked that she keeps an open mind throughout the novel. Even though she's unfailingly loyal to her dad, when there's evidence of a problem with Elusion, she does whatever she can to make sure no one gets hurt because of it.

There are two main male characters - Josh and Patrick. There was a bit of a love triangle at times, but I think it's safe to say that's resolved. I felt that these characters weren't developed enough. Josh seemingly comes out of nowhere, we don't get to know much about him at all, and suddenly within the span of a week he and Regan are inseparable. Patrick, on the other hand, seemed like a great character in the beginning, one that could grow a lot. But I didn't like the turn his personality took later on, and I hope we get to see some growth in him in the next book.

Despite the awesome intricate detail in Elusion, I failed to see much of a proper world-building outside that software. We don't find out much about the outside world. For example, everyone has to wear oxygen masks outside because of the atmosphere, and they have to be careful of the severe acid rain. Well, we're never told why the environment has worsened so much, and how exactly it happened. So I'm hoping we find out more about that in the sequel as well.

I did love the suspense throughout, and the hint of danger everywhere. Though most of the twists are quite predictable, that didn't dampen my enjoyment of the revelations. There's the outline of a proper mystery here - complete with clues, hidden messages, and everything. It really was fun to follow that!

Bottom line, Elusion is great for the sci-fi lover in you. This goes out to everyone - you all know you love sci-fi, even just a little bit! The authors have done a great job collaborating, and with an ending like that, I'm really looking forward to the next book.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5


  1. This is probably not the book for me, but I agree the cover is gorgeous! It's disappointing that the world-building and character development was a little lacking though. Great review!

  2. Virtual worlds and realities usually don't do it for me, but this book has me curious. Too about it didn't quite make the "fully enjoyable" grade though.

    Great review.

  3. I'll have to read your review later - I fear spoilers. I have this book, but I haven't read it yet!


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