Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

ElusionElusion by Cheryl Klam, Claudia Gabel
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books on March 18, 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★½

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.

What I liked

The tech!

I loved all the technology talk! It spoke to my inner nerd. There’s a lot of talk about tablets, visors, gadgets, and other elusion equipment. We get a bit of programming talk as well. If you’re not a tech nerd like me, don’t worry because it doesn’t completely dominate the story. But the tech speak does pop in and out at times and I looooved it!

The Escapes themselves (duh!)

I think this is a given, but the Escapes were awesome! They were so fun to imagine and read about. They’re basically like virtual realities, which kind of brought back fond memories of Insignia by S.J. Kincaid.

The story: with evil corporations!

I have a thing for evil corporations in literature. I have no idea why, I just do. I like it when there’s a big company, and cover-ups or evil high-up dudes.. and Elusion has all that! There are some potential problems with Elusion but the company insists there are none, but all kinds of sketchy shit is going on, and Regan is setting out to get to the bottom of it! This just totally hooked me in. I loved Regan’s mission and how it was a “one girl against the big corporation” kind of thing.

What I didn’t like

The pacing

The pacing of Elusion started out okay, but then it went downhill. The problem was, for 90% of the book we’re told, “Something’s going on!” “There’s a conspiracy!” And as I said in the “evil corporations” part, I loved that! It was right up my alley. But then we’re just strung along for the rest of the book with no answers until we get to the last 10%. Then we finally start getting answers.

I hate it when we don’t get bits and pieces along the way. It makes me lose interest fast. I need like a little breadcrumb trail of information to keep me enticed, and Elusion didn’t quite give me that. I did mostly enjoy the story and I liked all the tech and the Escapes. But around the 70% mark I started to get REALLY impatient. At that point I actually started skimming a little so I could hurry up and get to the big reveal.

The world building

The world building surrounding the CURRENT state of things was fine. I understood that there were environmental problems, people are addicted to Elusion, they use their weird card things for everything, etc. I felt like I got a good grasp on that.

What I had zero understanding of was the connection between 2013 and when the story takes place. Elusion is clearly set in the future, but there’s a big gaping hole in between then and now. WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?? I can make some assumptions (like we massively polluted the planet and destroyed the atmosphere), but that’s all they are—assumptions. I had no clear cut idea of when Elusion took place or what happened between now and then. I hate that feeling of uncertainty. In dystopians I like being able to orient myself, but I couldn’t do that here.

The romance

I didn’t think the romance was horrible. It just wasn’t amazing either. I almost feel like I shouldn’t put it in this section, because I didn’t explicitly dislike it. I just never fell in love with it.. and there’s a difference!

The Verdict


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  1. I love the way you review. With that aside, I haven’t read Elusion, but I probably would do the same thing as you with the pacing. If I get bored midway through a book, I often find myself skimming to get to the exciting parts. Getting strung along is no fun. This does sound like an interesting read though.

    Amy M. recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Rewind
  2. I really want to read this but I am worried about the pacing. I tend to give up on books with bad pacing. I think alot of sci books fail on the world building when it comes to the gap between present now and present future for the book. I have found very few that does an awesome job explaining what happened. I think I still am gonna give this book a chance because it does sound interesting enough. great review.

    JennRenee recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday #100
  3. Funny, I thought the world building surrounding the current state of things wasn’t good at all. I understand the pollution thing, but how did they get there? And was the rest of the world the same? There wasn’t any information about this and it drove me bonkers. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to the next one. Unlike you, I didn’t have an issue with the pacing, I actually thought it was good, for me, at least. Nice review!

  4. I totally agreed about the romance and the world-building! The idea themselves were so great, and I really loved how the technology was incorporated into the book, but the rest of the time nothing really happened. It seemed like they always talked about what was going on but never really acted upon it until a lot later. Fantastic review, Ashley! <33

    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted: Nil by Lynne Matson
  5. I’m really glad you enjoyed reading Elusion! I really loved this book; it was such a cool and new concept for me. I also felt iffy on the romance, but I did not exactly dislike it. It was pretty much all right. The world building could have been elaborated more, I agree. All I understood was that the weather condition and atmosphere was really bad. But I always wondered what happenend, you know?

    Leigh @ Little Book Star recently posted: Review: Death Sworn (Death Sworn #1) by Leah Cypess
  6. Ohhh this one sounds pretty good. Not to mention that cover. 😉 *strokes*

    It’s a shame about the pacing and the world building. This one isn’t a series isn’t it, so there’s no hope for the world building to get better later in the series. Was the the romance kind of instalove-y? Instalove can tend to bring things down. :/

    Other than that I’m glad you still enjoyed it! Definitely sounds like something I’ll still look into reading.

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