Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beta by Rachel Cohn

Title: Beta (Annex #1)
Author: Rachel Cohn
Format: ARC
Pub. Date: October 16th 2012
Source: The Reader's Antidote blog


Five stars.

The island of Demesne is a utopia. Humans aren't bothered with trivial things like work, only luxury and leisure. Instead, the work is done by clones- servants cloned from the recently deceased. Void of souls and feelings, they are perfect for a life of servitude. Elysia is a Beta clone- one of the first few teenage clones in existence with a rampant threat of defects. On the island pf perfection, defects mean death. But Elysia isn't like other clones. She can taste food. She can remember memories from her First's life. She learns that there are others out there, others who are planning a revolution. Elysia must choose her side, and risk everything in order to claim what clones were never meant to have- a life of her own.


I think this book was absolutely stunning. It had a little bit of everything: rebellion, romance, dystopia, pretty backdrops for adventure. This was a well rounded, action-packed read.

+The cover is beautiful. It's shimmery and perfect, just like the island contained within its pages.

+I loved the protagonist, Elysia. She was a cute amount of naive mixed with bravery, determination, smarts, and most importantly, hope. She was constantly trying to play a role that was different then expected, and it left me cheering her on. I wanted her to be happy with a life of her own, away from certain nasty characters that I won't spoil.

+ The island is vividly described. I achieved 'raxia (the state of bliss felt on the island) just by reading about such a perfect place. After all, who wouldn't kill for a chance to lounge by the pool and have others tend to the work? Everyone would- and that's what makes this form of sci-fi terrifying.

- My only real criticism is the bipolar attitudes of non-clone characters. I believe that it was due to the heavy drug use, but in some spots it left me a bit bitter and confused as to why certain characters behaved the way they did.

+- This point is neither positive nor negative, but I felt that there was a lot going on. There's a large amount of characters and races, and I really needed to pay attention to what was happening. For me, this wasn't a quick read.

This book is a great young adult science fiction novel. I am severely disappointed that book two isn't out yet, but I will definitely be picking up a copy as soon as humanly possible.

I recommend this for the YA audience who enjoys dystopian books or science fiction. Those who enjoyed Cinder or Uglies- give Beta a try.

Thank you to The Reader's Antidote for my copy of this novel.