Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.GR
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.
Publishes in US: March 18th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA sci-fi
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
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I wanted to read Elusion because first I was drawn to the beautiful cover, and then I read the description and liked the premise of the advanced tech that let you escape, and also wondering about the boy and what had went wrong with the idea and company.
I liked Regan's voice and got caught up in the story. Sometimes sci-fi and the hows and whys go over my head, so I was confused for a bit and also didn't really understand any of the science of how this could be in the realm of possibility even if we aren't there yet, so I don't know if some would have an issue, but I didn't. I was eager to find out about this world in the future that is low on oxygen and seems to have messed up any beautiful landscape since the first Escape she took with her father was such a scenic experience. But an accident killed her father and things changed and escalated with his tech. It became a source of escape, relaxation and fun for the whole city, almost ready to be released to the general population.
I liked her friendship and the bantering between her and Patrick at the beginning and how he still made time for her, making her a priority even though he is involved with the company and running conferences and such. I so hoped that he wasn't on the corrupted or gone wrong part but tried to keep my heart protected a bit. I was also crossing my fingers for no love triangle since the synopsis mentioned the handsome rebel Josh and says that Regan will have to choose between love and loyalty.
I enjoyed Josh's character, but ultimately I think that things progressed pretty quickly between them. It felt okay for me, but I know some of my readers have issues with the insta-love and the whole story takes place in less than a week. While I suppose there are no actual declarations of love, they become close and there is a kiss. I enjoyed the romance personally and can't wait to see how much closer they are in the next book. I liked how he was protective of Regan, and that he wasn't quick to judge her or make assumptions.
I finished the story before I knew it, and enjoyed the world building, especially when I got a handle on the terminology and how Elusion and Escapes worked. There was some scientific talk that I didn't care to wade through, but I am sure that this will be gold for some readers. But I liked the idea of being able to use virtual reality to go to serene places when their environment seems to be devastated, needing supplemental oxygen when outside and acid rain, and not a lot of nature left.
The whole addiction plot line made things that more layered. Figuring out who knew what and where the blame lay for teens' vulnerability for getting addicted to the substances that allow for Escape. It also gave Josh something to work for and a reason behind because he was struck close to home with his sister Nora.
I was eager to further unravel Regan's family dynamic. There were hints of and we find out more about her father's accident and memories of their relationship. And Regan and her mom seemed to have a weird grief covered relationship and I know that at some points Regan was doubting her, and then others they were connected.
It ended at an okay spot I suppose, but I am def eager to find out what happens with the firewall, to discover what exactly Patrick's role was in everything and see the bad guys taken down.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you trust tech that let you virtually escape?