"Be the one, be worthy."
15 year old West Grayer thought she was finished fighting. She defeated her biological clone, or Alternative in Dualed. She stopped taking out striker contracts for Dire once she became a COMPLETE and therefore no longer has to battle her own ALT. She finds herself working closely with weapons instructor Baer as his assistant, and is in a relationship with childhood friend Chord Jameson. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, if you are writer Elsie Chapman, you don't allow your heroine to take a breath of fresh air or heal her mind and spirit before once again tossing her right back into the frying pan, and forcing her into making life or death choices and putting everyone she knows at risk in the process.
Grayer lives in Kersh where the weak are literally killed off by the strong in order to protect the city from the Surround, aka the outside world. You are expected to kill your Alternate who shares your DNA before they kill you within 31 days. Kids as young as ten, or as old as twenty, are sent out against each other in a winner take all contest. Successful missions are supposed to give you better better chances at a higher education, better paying jobs, permission to marry, and having a family. So, why would anyone give it all up for a statistical improbability that what the board promises her, will actually come to terms?
West is given a very interesting choice by taking an assignment for the Board to once again kill. Why would you willingly put yourself into a situation where you have no choice but to do exactly what they tell you? You would think that being a COMPLETE, having avenues opened to her now that she never had before, would make her slow down a bit and enjoy life. Nope, that is definitely not West. West also has an ANNOYING tendency of saying, "I'm sorry," for things she shouldn't have to, or trying hard to do what's best for her future.
Once again, I found myself making snide comments about Chord & West's romantic interlude. Once again, I must offer that Chord ISN'T necessarily a bad person when you get to him, but he is a bit on the pushy side and doesn't let West do what she needs to. Repeating, he grated on my nerves when he continually tried to force himself into West's business and even went as far as putting himself into harms way, instead of staying safe. In the end, it doesn't really matter what I think or believe because I am not the writer, the editor, or the publisher, and I'm sure others will find the romance to be lovely, and spirited, and heart warming.
Divided opens the veil into the mysterious Board, and what they actually do, and how Kersh actually came about, but doesn't fully explore the Surround which is still as mysterious as it was in Dualed. I am still curious about this society, and was offended that Chapman didn't build up her world a little bit better. We do get fits and starts into why the Board is so powerful, and what they have been up to all these years. I'm hoping for a final resolution in the next installment, if there is one. Since it leaves things wide opened, I am presuming that there will be another story.
Author - Elsie Chapman
Title - Divided (Dualed # 2)
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
Releases: May 27, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Format: E-Book 320 pages