Author: Rachel Cohn
Title: Beta (Annex #1)
Publication: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Rating: 5 out 5

Synopsis: 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 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. 

Review: Beta is a wonderful first installment of Rachel Cohn's new series. It's about a young clone named Elysia who was created to become a servant to residents on a euphoric island. Being a teenager, she's the first of her kind. Everyone else is in their 20's or older. A woman finds Elysia and buys her on the spot. She's told by her new owner -- "Mother" -- that she will be a member of the family, replacing her daughter that went away to school. While helping around the house and communicating with her new family, she figures out something isn't right. Flashbacks that aren't hers are occurring, and thoughts that shouldn't be in her head are pouring out. What will Elysia do when she figures out nothing is what it seems?


Elysia is a wonderful character. She tries to fit in, and is confused with the activities, slang, actions and social cues around her. Thankfully there's a chip inserted in her brain that will help her with things. An example is helping her younger sister with nightmares... she "turns her voice" into a calming tune, and murmurs words that she finds in the dictionary that will make her fall back asleep. The brother and his friends take drugs to help them calm themselves further, (because apparently the manipulated air isn't enough for them) so just note that this is a darker book. There's really no "happy" when you read it. It's fun and interesting to read Elysia coming out of her shell, but the bottom line will always be: she's a slave.

I really, REALLY loved this book and can't wait for the next one to come out. I need to warn you that Rachel Cohn is one of those authors that ends the book on the plot twist. Literally the last sentence made you gasp, and now you'll have to wait for a few months (maybe a year?) before the next one comes out. GAH SO UNFAIR! :(


Originally posted on Wanted Readers

2 comments:

sounds great! thank you for reviewing this one!

I have heard such mixed things about this one, but it still interests me. I am very curious about the story, and this world. Looking forward to it, once the second book gets here. Maybe even the final!

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twi·light

/ˈtwīˌlīt/
Noun
  1. The soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the reflection of the sun's rays from the atmosphere.
  2. The period of the evening during which this takes place, between daylight and darkness.
Synonyms
dusk - gloaming - nightfall

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