Release Date: March 18, 2014
Series: Elusion (bk. 1)
Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Romance
Subjects: virtual reality, futuristic, technology
Setting: Detroit, Michigan and Elusion
POV/Tense: 1st person POV: Reagan Welch
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 388 pgs.
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: HarperTeen: Katherine Teagan
Summary/ product description: “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.”
My Review: Reagan is kind of quirky, but her life’s been pretty sad since her dad died. Her dad was the creator of Elusion, a virtual reality program. Reagan hasn’t gone into Elusion more than once since her dad died, and her mom can’t stop using Elusion to escape reality and depression. Patrick, Reagan’s best friend is now the head designer of Elusion and seems to be getting all the credit. Patrick wants to be Reagan’s boyfriend, but she doesn’t feel the same way. This girl named Avery claims that Elusion is addicting like a drug and not good to use. A guy named Josh, who used to be Patrick’s friend, comes to a party where Reagan meets him and they start flirting, and he becomes the love interest. If the story sounds cliché ridden so far, then maybe you won’t want to read it. But hear me out; this book is totally worth reading.
This book is set in Michigan. Detroit, about 50 years in the future in a world in which Florapetro (some kind of synthetic oil) pollutes the skies around cities and people have to wear O2 oxygen masks to protect their lungs when they’re outside. There’s acid rain that actually burns somewhat and the sky’s not often blue. Elusion becomes a way to escape this miserable polluted world, and the day-to-day jobs and hardships. Elusion is still in it’s infancy, only about 6 months since it was first used. The technology develops rapidly, but is only being used so far in 3 cities: Detroit, LA, and Miami. It’s about to go national, but something about to put that on hold. Could Elusion truly be dangerous?
As fun a virtual reality sounds, Elusion does sound like a drug to me. It puts you in a trance and alters you state of mind. Something like that will be controversial. This book does a good on its dystopian take on virtual reality. It makes you think. Of course, there’s romance along the way, and kissing, but it’s not so heavy. There’s a lot of trust issues and question everything. Like, is Reagan’s father even dead? What’s the truth? There’s a mystery that drives the story. The book is full of deliciously descriptive writing and narration. The cover beautiful as the story inside and it’s a really easy, fast read. As I said, the world building is interesting and kind of unique, and feels more like the near-future since people are using tablets and Detroit is still Detroit. It’s not just another dystopian book filled with cliché, so give it a chance!
I recommend this book to fans of Insignia by S.J. Kincaid, Rush by Eve Silver, the Divergent series, The Matrix and anything that involve virtual reality or simulations. Also, Minders by Michele Jaffe, also set in near-future dystopian Detroit.
Cover Art Review: This cover is so beautiful. It looks like Cliff Neilson made it. I love the colors and the sea-creature like things. Stars and lights in an orb. I even love the landscape with the girl. The title looks cool against the background texture.