“Sometimes, when I’m distracted and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, the first person I think of is not always me.” said West Grayer a past striker and present complete in the eye of the government. “Divided” by Elsie Chapman is a great addition to “Dualed” her first novel in the series. Fortunately Elsie opens up the novel with West’s past challenges and not only shadows what has happened but relocates her past struggles into her present and we get to witness West’s bloody past through her awakening nightmares and backtracking adventure rather than having to go back and read the first novel to appreciate this one.
West Grayer lives in Kersh a city created by three people Cris, Jackson, and Tamryn. They came together as friends and created a domelike structure called the surround to protect them from the city. As they were now in power they split their own newly ruled city into three sections; Level one operated by Cris which provided political matter, Level 2 dominated by Jackson who provided military matter, and Level 3 controlled by Tamryn which offered scientific data. The excitement of these three soon shatter when they realize that their city has a lack of oxygen and a lack of supplies so these friends had to find a way to keep their little city from barricading in.
Therefore they created alternates which means when a family wants to have a child they have to go to the board and officially order one and thanks to Tamryn there was a lab created that “engineered two people who look identical to each other, set up a mini-bomb in their brain, and tattoo their eyes with a long string of numbers…” and eventually when the time bomb goes off these unnatural twins must kill each other off so only the worthy and strong survives the gruesome battle. This is the battle West Grayer went through during the first novel and now she is deemed as a complete because she won her battle with her alternate.
Once a striker now a complete West falls back to her lethal ways of training but this time she is fighting for the board rather then rebelling against it. Her choice to go back into her past is her only guarantee that her children will never have to battle to survive. As she sets out for her first target she is recognizing that she is now tainted by the blood her dagger bore before and decides to offer her targets two choices between death. She has already proven herself worthy as the survivor the complete one, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that she is safe from being targeted, used, and manipulated into a game of death by one of the board members that knows too much and is willing kill anyone who gets too close to well guarded secrets.
West deals with her first two targets and she is alarmed when they come back to hunt her down for completing their mission for her. Now she is targeted for killings she might not have done but in order to save everyone including herself she must remain quiet and start trusting the people around her like Chord (her boyfriend). In the previous novel she poisoned him to keep him safe but now she learns that having him by her side as she enters these new challenges is not a form of weakness but acceptance and trust.
This unnatural game of survival created by the government for pseudo-safety is a lethal game that causes more problems as more secrets are revealed. This is an amazing story that connects to civil rights in another dimension and era. The name might be only the worthy will survive but the government chooses the worthy one from birth and the idle is left waiting for their death countdown but sometimes things don’t go as planned. I cannot wait to see what the third novel has to offer.
Publication: May 27, 2014