Review – Elusion
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  • Posted:
  • March 12, 2014

elusion

Elusion is an upcoming collaborative science fiction novel by authors Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam. This marks my first time reading either one of them. I’ve seen mixed reviews and I went into it with an open mind, hoping that I could garner a fresh perspective on the book. Unfortunately, this book ended up failing to keep my attention, and as a result I did not finish it. 

Regan lives in Detroit, Michigan in the future. Her Father conceived the idea of an app called Elusion where people could visit “Escapes” to different places virtually. He was developing the program with Patrick, Regan’s childhood friend and computer genius, until an accident claimed his life. Now, several months later, Regan is trying to put Elusion behind her, knowing that it’s just a mask for her own pain about her Father’s death.

But Patrick has gone on with it. He has improved it, got all of the federal approvals and backing for it, and plans to launch it nationwide. The program has done remarkably in test runs and people in the available cities use it constantly. But now people are showing the signs of addiction and conspiracy theorists are starting to be shushed. When a girl in Regan’s class vlogs about the addiction and is silenced Regan begins to investigate the firewall that she speaks of.  While inside, Elusion waylays her efforts whenever she attempts to find the firewall. But this will not stop Regan. She is convinced that her Father is still alive and that his disappearance hides the reason why Elusion is being forced onto the market, and that the changes made to his program are for some nebulous reason.

Truth be told, the character development in this book did nothing for me. It reads like a bad action movie – jumping from plot to plot without stopping to pause for breath. When the authors attempt to give some character depth to the players it reads falsely and comes too late for the reader to care. At one point I realized that I was not remembering the principle character’s names or what the differences were between them and that was the beginning of the end.

There’s also a love triangle that is implied between Regan, Patrick, and Josh, the military man who is prodding Regan  into pursuing the rumours. This does not normally bother me as much as other readers (provided that it’s done well). However, since the authors did not take the time to develop the characters ahead of time when it does come it’s not very good. I didn’t care enough about any of them to worry about her choice. I didn’t care enough about her.

The other thing that happened was that the book devolves into a predictable, pedestrian mystery novel. The science fiction elements are just the rod to hang the mystery curtain on, as it were. Not being the most avid mystery fan this did nothing for me. It was all a bit clumsy and reminded me of a bad Scooby Doo episode, and I wasn’t having it. I couldn’t  summon the interest to finish the book.

I wish it was better than it was. But it’s not. It’s underdeveloped and poorly paced. The cover sure is pretty though.

1 out of 5 stars.

– BP

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