Author: Rachel Cohn (@RachelCohn)
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Series: Annex #1
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Seek: Goodreads, Amazon
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 under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing 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 happi-ness 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.
The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, "Beta "is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a cor-rupted world.
Xanthe leans in close to whisper to me.
"Do you wish?" she asks.
My heart suddenly beats faster, as if I am being threatened, when I know I am only being reassured about my duties. "I do not wish," I state. "I serve."
The beginning had me hook. I was interested to see what Rachel did with this unemotional character. Elysia is a clone of a teen human, with no soul. She is not supposed to feel anything, but has the knowledge on how to react to humans. She pretty much fakes everything. Clones are supposed to work/serve, not wish or dream or care about anything. So you can see why I was interested in viewing her point of view on things.
Another thing about Elysia, that’s interesting, she is one of the first clones of a teenager. A beta, which means she is a prototype that can still have some errors. She lives on this island, Demesne, where everything is perfect. The air on the island is so pure, that humans become so relaxed; they don’t want to work. That is why clones are needed to do the work for them. Only the wealthy can afford this type of lifestyle.
Elysia gets bought by a lady and gets taken into the family as a companion. Elysia has to prove to everyone that she is a perfect teen clone and she is not a Defect. However, she starts to experience things. Feelings, taste, and she even gets some memories of her First, the human she was cloned from. None of these things are supposed to be happening.
Anyways, this is what we get throughout the whole story. Elysia is experiencing Defect type things and she is curious about other clones experiencing these types of things as well. Then, she finds out about a group of clones who don’t want to work for humans, which begin to start some trouble. Nothing too big though…yet.
As for the romance in this book, it was sweet. I can’t really say anything too much about it, because for me, there weren’t enough things to make a great romance.
I think Rachel set this book to build into all the action. We get some excitement at the ending, to get us excited for the sequel. For me, however, I was mad. It took Elysia why too long to find some things out for me. I figure them out way before she did. But…I am still going to check out the second book. Hopefully, it will be better than this one.