Saturday, March 21, 2015

ARC Review: Duplicity by N.K Traver

by N.K Traver

Genre: YA, sci-fi, contemporary-ish
Published March 17th 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books
Source: Publisher
Local purchase/order: Fully Booked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
A computer-hacking teen. The girl who wants to save him. And a rogue mirror reflection that might be the death of them both.

In private, seventeen-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. He should know: he’s worked hard to maintain that façade. With inattentive parents who move constantly from city to city, he’s learned not to get tangled up in things like friends and relationships. So he’ll just keep living like a machine, all gears and wires.

Then two things shatter his carefully-built image: Emma, the kind, stubborn girl who insists on looking beneath the surface – and the small matter of a mirror reflection that starts moving by itself. Not only does Brandon’s reflection have a mind of its own, but it seems to be grooming him for something—washing the dye from his hair, yanking out his piercings, swapping his black shirts for … pastels. Then it tells him: it thinks it can live his life better, and it’s preparing to trade places.

And when it pulls Brandon through the looking-glass, not only will he need all his ill-gotten hacking skills to escape, but he’s going to have to face some hard truths about who he’s become. Otherwise he’ll be stuck in a digital hell until he’s old and gray, and no one will even know he's gone.

Huffington Post lists N.K. Traver's Duplicity as part of one of the great YA book trends to look for in 2015!

My Thoughts:

*This review is based on advanced reading ecopy. There might be some changes with the finished copy.

What if you look through the looking-glass and see a different version of you? A version of you who changes the way you are? What if that version of you--that is not really you--wants to trade places "for the better"? In N.K Traver's contemporary sci-fi debut novel, Duplicity, Brandon, a computer-hacking teen meets someone like himself who isn't him in front of a mirror who wants to change his life. But could this be for the better or for the worst? 

The first thing I--anyone would--noticed with Duplicity was the uniqueness of the story/concept. Although the 'bad guy punished by a witch/fairy godmother/someone with powers to become better' was familiar because a local children's fantasy show here in the Philippines called Wansapanataym (Once Upon A Time) caters the same theme, Duplicity has something that stood out, angst, and all the techie nerdy thing. I also like the idea of it and the twists this book had in a nerdy way. Readers would ponder who really the bad guy is and what Brandon really is. Is he the bad guy or the next hero?

The book started like it was already in a middle of a story with some untold background stories, and I've been like left in a middle of an unknown city for a while, but as the pages go by, the characters and their story were introduced one by one flawlessly without having a boring length of paragraphs with explanations of like this and like that. Of course except with the techie details. I'm not techie so I might have read the about it but if you'd ask me now, I have already forgotten what it said. The bad thing was on my side, don't worry.

I'm not sure if this is a series or a standalone. There wasn't any details on Goodreads about it being a series. I mentioned it because the ending seems lacking, like there's something needed to add. Like it shouldn't end that way because you cannot call it an ending, especially if it's a standalone. I suspect my eARC (electronic advance reading copy/proof copy) from Netgalley wasn't a full ARC. Like, a chapter or two is missing, but I'm not sure. I suspected that because my eARC of The Orphan Queen from Edelweiss was also only an excerpt (long length but left the ending), so it might also be the case for this one. Anyway, I will update this review once the author or publisher replied on my tweet. :)

Uniqueness was Duplicity's strongest attribute. Enjoy a past-paced cyberthriller with twists you wouldn't see coming. I really liked Duplicity--it's fun and refreshing and has a main character you'd be pinning for. Definitely a new trend in YA world you must look for!

*Thank you so much St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books for the review ecopy in exchange of an honest review!


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