Apr 5, 2013

Review: Beta by Rachel Cohn

Title: Beta
Author: Rachel Cohn
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: 10.16.2012
Pages: 331
Genre: SciFi
Series: Annex #1
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist. 

Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers-soulless clones like Elysia-are immune to. 

At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under­current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care-so why are overpowering sensations cloud­ing Elysia's mind? 

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi­ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive. 

Wow! That's the first thing I can say about this book. I was completely blown away by this story. I assumed, and silly me, that Elysia would determine she wants her freedom and embarks in a journey todo so. What I wasn't expecting was the turn of events with her First. 

The imagery captured in this unforgettable story was just that, unforgettable. You become envious of this island and might actually wish to be there. I know I did. The description of Demesne was unlike anything I have ever read before; the flowers, violet-blue waters of Io, and even down to the feeling of the air. I cannot express my through enjoyment of how pleasurable reading this story was. 

Understanding and believing comes easily here.  You are immediately part of this "perfect" world. I think that was my second favorite part of this book. You understand the need for the humans want to live luxuriously and in ideal paradise after the Water Wars. You also understand the role of the clones and how they are supposed to act according to their chips. It's also very easy to relate this fantasy island as a coping mechanism after a tragedy. 

I wish that the Water Wars and the devastation they cause was explained. You know they happened but how or why? I think if they were explained a bit more you would have understood the need for Demesne and everything that accompanied it. 

Even though this a futuristic tale, you can imagine such a world. It's by far my favorite story on what the world could turn into. 

Reviewer: Gabrielle


  1. I thought this was a really fascinating world Gabrielle! I was thoroughly enjoying the story right up until a certain event happens toward the end that put me off a bit, but I'm definitely curious to see where things will go with the next book. Lovely review!!

  2. I'll have to check this one out! Great review!

    Charlie xx

  3. I have this on my shelf, and just keep skipping over it. I think I just need a boost, like this fab review, to get excited about it again. Moving it to the nightstand now, so thanks! :-)

  4. Another great review and another book that I have and haven't read! I'll get to it soon!


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