Beta by Rachel Cohn
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.
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 corrupted world.
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Beta has some truly brilliant unexpected elements that are explored within the story. The fact that the story being told is mostly original, is pretty spectacular in itself. Reader's won't see what's coming or what to expect, as they're reading the book, which will make for an even more interesting journey and reading experience. Elysia is a truly fantastic heroine that is incredibly likable and not the easiest to connect with, at first. She's the first of her kind, in a teenage clone line. So, it's only natural that she would have questions of her own and want to figure out the answers to them. One of the best things about her, is her journey to becoming more human and the fact that she's brave enough to be willing to die for her beliefs. This makes her a strong character, that can be admired.
Beta is full of surprises that readers will find themselves enamored with. While the romance is sweet and charming, I did personally find it to be a bit of insta-love, which isn't one of my favorite elements in a book. There was also an instance where it felt like I switched from reading Beta to a moment where I felt like I was experiencing Twilight de ja vu all over again, with the "imprinting" bit that was introduced. I wished Cohn would have been a little more creative as far as that concept goes. I also wish that there would have been a little bit more background and knowledge explored involving the Water Wars, than there was.
Over-all, Beta was an incredibly tense drama, adventure filled book that will definitely appeal to most sci-fi and dystopian fans. It's a wonderfully engaging and captivating novel, despite its few flaws. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy dystopia and science fiction novels.