Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia, Science-Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover (Finished Review Copy)
Zhara, the First. Elysia, her clone. On the surface, they are identical. But looks can be deceiving.
When Zhara plays, she plays to win. She thought she had escaped the horrors of Doctor Lusardi's cloning compound. But the nightmare is just beginning. Elysia has taken everything from Zhara-a softer, prettier version of herself and an inescapable reminder of all she's failed at in her life. Now the man Zhara loves has replaced her with Elysia. Zhara will get her clone out of the way, no matter the cost.
Elysia has finally learned the truth: she has a soul. Her First is alive. She knows it hurts Zhara to see her with Alexander, but she can't give him up. The genetically-perfected Aquine has chosen as her as his life mate, and their days together are limited.
Elysia can't remain in the Rave Caves off the shores of Denesme forever. Revolution is brewing on the island paradise. Hundreds of soulless clones remain imprisoned like Elysia once was, slaves to the whims of their owners-wealthy human inhabitants of the island. As a group of clones and humans, led by Alexander, plot an insurrection that will turn Denesme's world upside down, Elysia knows her place is fighting by his side. Terrible sacrifices must be made to defeat Denesme's twisted regime. But even the greatest losses cannot prepare Elysia for the ticking time bomb built into her own programming...
*A finished review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
Let's take a time machine back into time—one year ago. Or actually, a little more than a year ago, to be honest. That was when I read Beta, the first book in the Annex trilogy, and that's where I found one of my most strongest loves, dystopian books. From there, or even a little before that, I've grown to be obsessed with this unique genre where anything is actually possible. Although the wait for Emergent felt extremely long and precious, it was so worth it. Emergent was everything I was looking for in a sequel, and there surely was no signs of second-book-syndrome anywhere nearby, not even a speck.
"Now, I understand—truly understand—what it means to have a soul, because in this moment, mine feels like it literally just exploded with exhilaration. The feeling spreads to each and every cell in my body, fireworks of joy."As most dystopia trilogies are formatted, the first book is where the action makes all of the events prior to happen. It's the starting point and formation. Whatever happens in the second and third books are because of the first. It's like a formula. Many authors decide to follow that formula in order to create sci-fi success.
At the end of Beta, there was a huge plot-twist that was revealed that would obviously change the sequel's setting and storyline. That was the main thing that struck me the most and made me want this book a hundred times more. As we begin, we're reading in the point-of-view of Zahra, Elysia's First. The beginning basically shows the points in her life that revolve around Elysia, but she herself doesn't even know that she has a clone. In the beginning, she was having a death party and then got resurrected, and woke up. The funny thing is, is that she expected to die at the moment when the pirates found her. Next thing you know, she was brought to a deserted, truly unliveable island where the Emergents are. There, she tries to forget about Xander, the guy who she's loved for her whole life, and decides to move on. And from there, she finds out that she has a Beta, and she's with Xander.
And of course, that's where Zahra gets fed up and her attitude spews all over the place like lava from a volcano. If you read the first book previously, you'll obviously know that Zahra is the bitchiest bitch around. She's like the Evil Queen from Snow White, after eating twenty poisoned apples and still living.
The mind-blowing thing in this situation is that I ended up loving Zahra. She was such a drag queen in the beginning, I must admit, but the magic and personality that Cohn added into her sprouted her into someone better. She even, PSST began a friendship with her Beta—a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I can be patient. Paradise will be mine, next time I get there."
This was like a Lost remake. Probably taking place in the third season, where the action through the island really began. Rachel Cohn truly created a Survival 101 book with sexy romance, thrill and heart-pounding fangirling moments.
The only thing that I didn't really like was the beginning. I do wish that the author gave us a better recap on what was happening at the moment. I obviously eventually got it, but it did take a while for me to remember the characters and who was who. It's been more than a year, people.
The story was honestly so perfect. It's something that would come out of an inspirational person's dream, since it was so smart and logical. There was suspense at the end of every page and I honestly couldn't stop reading. Every word was like something I need to follow by. (OBVIOUSLY NOT THE CRAZY THING THAT ZAHRA DID, DUH.)
I just didn't want the end of the book to come. AND IT HAD TO, IT HAD TO. AND NOW I HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER GURGRJGRUHGEOGHEUOK YEAR. *sprouts anger*
"I only want you when I can have all of you." Aidan places his hand over my heart, which is the one part of me that's in no way ready to give itself to a clone."The romance was so agonizing in this book. First of all, because there were so many get-together moments where characters were either (a) pissed because they're with someone else or (b) confused with who they really love. And honestly, that's not a bad thing because Cohn really made everything seem real. This wasn't picture-perfect romance, it was much more realistic and special. I had so many ships, and they all sunk. :(
This book actually had it all. What a fantastic comeback from Rachel Cohn—who's books I'm so obsessed with. This was action-packed, gorgeous and even had hints of discrimination and mystery. (What dystopia adds that in?) If you haven't picked up Beta yet, I DARE YOU TO, because you'll need to get ready to be obsessed.