Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

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Synopsis: Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

Series: Elusion #1

Date Finished: 8/2/18

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I picked up Elusion due to it’s gorgeous cover design. The premise intrigued me as well. Virtual reality, once a thing purely of fiction, is more and more becoming a reality. In one of my classes at school, we got to play around with an HTC Vive, which was honestly better than I could have ever expected. After experiencing that, it felt fitting that I should “Escape” into the fiction world of “Elusion.”

The prologue is definitely gripping and descriptive. It’s easy to imagine the scene that Regan is experiencing within Elusion. That’s one of the novel’s strong points; it’s very descriptive.

However, as descriptive as it might be, it lacks a bit of worldbuilding. Regan is so focused on Elusion and the two boys in her life and the mysteries and lies that she uncovers that we never get a clear view of what the world is like. It’s understood that future Detroit has really bad air pollution due to a substance called Florapetro, but it’s never explained what the substance is, or how the air quality got so bad that it’s dangerous to be outside for even a few minutes without a mask. While inferences can be made, it would be nice if there was a brief explanation.

To speak of the plot as a whole, it honestly was nothing absolutely unique. Books, movies, and TV shows that feature virtual Reality and its problems are nothing new. While Elusion puts its own spin on the genre, it still falls for some major tropes, such as addiction, glitches, and people getting stuck in the game.

The dialogue and characters were really nothing too special. At times, Regan annoyed me a bit, because she’s caught up in this love triangle between her best friend who she’s kind of oblivious to and this stranger who she instantly falls for and starts hanging out with. Her opinion seemed to be a bit weak, as she would bounce back and forth between trusting one side vs. the other, before finally making her choice and taking action. While this story is supposed to be a big mystery, with clues and new information being discovered throughout, it could have used more action in my eyes. I just finished the book earlier today, and already parts of it are jumbled up in my mind. The dialogue and overall narration wasn’t anything spectacular, and no lines really stuck out to me as quotable.

All-in-all, I enjoyed Elusion for its plot, description and the mystery, but I didn’t absolutely love it due to other flaws. That being said, I do intend on reading the sequel, as I’m curious to see what will happen in Etherworld, but I’m not dying to read it as soon as possible.

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