Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: Beta by Rachel Cohn

(Annex #1)

Author: Rachel Cohn

Publication Date: October 16th 2012

Publisher: Hyperion

Genre: Science Fiction / Dystopian



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 under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing 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 happi-ness 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.

My Thoughts: There are a lot of different reviews out there for Beta. I've heard both good and bad things, however, I absolutely loved this book! Maybe it's because it's both science fiction and dystopian, or maybe it was the brilliant writing which kept me up way past when I should have been sleeping, but I can't even think of anything that I disliked in this book. This was actually my first taste of Rachel Cohn's writing, I haven't read anything by her before so had no idea what to expect going in. She hasn't disappointed me, that's for sure. And the cover! It is one that will catch your eye, making you pick up the book. I love the cover, especially the way the tattoo on her face shines!

Elysia is a clone of a girl who died, she doesn't know how her First died, just that she is dead. Clones are made from the bodies of the dead, their soul is removed so that they will be unfeeling. They won't want for anything, which means they will do everything they are told. It doesn't quite work that way for Elysia though. For some reason she has a sense of taste, something she shouldn't have. She has feelings for Tahir, a gorgeous boy who's just recently returned to the island after an accident. She also has memories of another man, in the water, someone from her First's past. If her owners knew of any of this, they would have her Expired for being a Defect. So she has to hide her feelings and sensations. She can't ask anyone about it because there is no one to trust. She's a brave character struggling to find a balance that won't have her killed, but once she meets Tahir, it gets harder for her to hide them.

Cohn does a wonderful job creating a world you can easily envision and get lost in. There were many times when I was reading that I just wasn't able to stop. I carried the book around with me constantly, sneaking in couple of pages whenever I could find the time. I wish I could have just sat and read the whole thing in one sitting, but I don't think my daughter would find that fun. I found the story to be very unique in a time where is seems everything is a dystopian. It is one that will stand out and make you want for more. Especially after the ending! It was so, so cruel! I'm going to be anxiously anticipating the next in the Annex series! This is one that I'm definitely going to be recommending!


  1. I'm always happy to read positive reviews after seeing so many negative ones. I've been really excited for this book, but I lost it after I saw the mixed reviews. I'm definitely going to give it a shot after all :) Thanks!


    1. Yay! I'm glad you are rethinking it! I hope you enjoy it too :)

  2. I don't know why I wasn't very excited about this when it first came out, because it sounds really good. Now reading this review makes me want to get it. -sigh- I'll get to it.

    1. Haha, I know how you feel, there are so many books that I need to get to :(


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