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I Belong


Review: Etherworld by Caludia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

EtherworldTitleEtherworld

AuthorClaudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Elusion (Book #2)

Publication Date: March 31, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-100062122444 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13978-0062122445 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

The mind-blowing action from Elusion, about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, continues as Regan goes deeper into the deceptive world. Full of mystery, romance, and intriguing technology, this Inception-inspired thriller is perfect for fans of dystopian and sci-fi novels such as Uglies by Scott Westerfeld,Matched by Ally Condie, and Partials by Dan Wells.

Regan and her friend Josh now know the truth about Elusion—but they, along with Regan’s dad and other uses of Elusion, are stuck beyond the firewall in bleak Etherworld. They must fight Elusion from within, but the longer they stay, the less likely they’ll be able to return to the real world. And even if they do escape, the next battle to stop Elusion may be even more difficult. They’ll face corporate cover-ups, personal betrayals, and the terrifying realization that the danger may have grown beyond anyone’s control.

Quick & Dirty: This sequel was a lot of fun and fans of book one will enjoy it immensely.

Opening Sentence: Local police are working on a solid lead in the case of three teens missing since mid-March: Claire Wilberstein, 19, a freshman at UCLA; Piper Lewis, 15, of Willshire; and Wyatt Krissoff, 17, of Inglewood.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Warning! Elusion spoilers!

The program that her father created, Elusion, was supposed to create a beautiful escape to a world of nature and wonder that doesn’t exist in a world that has been taken by pollution. Elusion’s imaginative fun is certainly more preferable to the acid rain and unsanitary air that now rules earth. But it’s dangerous, causing addiction and messing with chemicals in people’s body, and Regan needs to tell the world — except she’s stuck in it. She found that her father, supposedly dead, was alive in Elusion and being held captive by his company partners. Along with him and the various kids who grew addicted and found the entrance to the Etherworld where he hides, Regan and Josh must destroy Elusion before it is spread to the world. And the longer they stay in it, the less likely that they’ll be alive when they leave.

Less than a couple years back, I read Elusion. I had just started reviewing and was super excited to get a chance to open up such a colorful, exciting novel. I ended up really enjoying the first and was interested in seeing what I thought of the second when I received it for review. I was impressed by certain twists that were added and less than impressed by others, and in the end I felt that it was a short, fun sequel. One thing that stayed pretty constant, by the way — those incredible covers! Look at the colors and the gorgeous backdrops! These books would be beautiful on my shelves if I hadn’t gotten e-copies.

This book eliminated the love triangle, which I appreciated. I hate a character who isn’t decisive. Regan, our main character, evolves her relationship with Josh as they undergo a series of dangers and trials. Their commitment to each other was admirable and I liked how they could grow through the challenges that their romance was facing, rather than letting them mess with it. The character Patrick whom was friend-zoned last book develops strongly. At the end of Elusion to the end of Etherworld he becomes a completely different character. It was tough, watching as he was forced to choose between his family and his commitment to the safety of Elusion users as well as Regan.

The book really jumped into action from the beginning, but even the start seemed slow in comparison to the explosive last half. It started where Elusion left off, but instead of Regan’s “find dad” goal, she was now trying to escape Elusion to notify the public. The book is more focused on the action and danger aspect than the relationships but there was still strong, diverse characters that had different layers. The book really took science fiction to the next level with a curveball that I did not see coming, one that added another spark of originality that I adored. It was quite the twist. It makes me wonder if adding that had been the author’s intentions from the beginning, because I never would have guessed that they’d take it that way, though I really appreciated it when they did.

Altogether, I did really enjoy this sequel to Elusion. It had been so long since I’d read book one that I had forgotten some of what happened, and there could have been more of a recap. Nevertheless, I caught on soon enough and enjoyed myself. I thought it had some elements I really enjoyed that made it better than book one, but for some reason I wasn’t as connected to the characters (hence the lower rating). I would definitely recommend it to others, though: the constant action, shifting alliances, and sudden twists make it a read well worth your time. Plus, who wouldn’t want that gorgeous cover being displayed on your shelf?

Notable Scene:

“And we will win. We will beat Elusion.”

This is the uplifting speech I was hoping for earlier, but I can’t take comfort in what he’s saying. I guess I know too much.

“And if we can’t?” Wyatt asks, gazing at my dad with the same pleading eyes I used to use as a kid.

My dad pats him on the back and forces a confident smile. Exactly like he did with me.

“Just do your best,” he says. “That’s all any of us can do.”

Josh finally lifts his head and we share a look, each knowing what the other is thinking.

Our best may not be enough to save us.

Elusion:

1. Elusion

2. Etherworld

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FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Etherworld. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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