Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Divided, By, Elsie Chapman

I really like the overall idea of Divided.  Kersh is a small city formed by a group of friends to keep themselves and future generations from the surround.  The Surround is an area that has been in a never-ending war with itself.  Due to overpopulation and limited resources the founders created a system to control the population.  This program is called the Alt program; every person who is born has an Alt version of himself or herself.  The Alt is genetically identical to the original person. Each alt is trained from a young age on how to kill, how to survive, because only one Alt will survive.  By doing this or having a system like this Kersh is able to preserve their resources and be a society of trained soldiers who would be able to defend themselves should the Surround ever chose to attack.  West, a retired striker (an assassin who kills Alts for people) is forced to go back to being a striker again.

            I really wanted to love this book, but there were some glaring inconsistencies that made it difficult for me to do so.  One that I can go into without spoiling anything is the subject of food.  If resources are scarce enough for the Alt program to be created, if the population numbers needed to be controlled then why was food treated the way it is in modern times?  Multiple fast food joints, ordering pizza, letting food go bad, buying food multiple times only to leave it behind?  It just didn't make sense to me.  There is a much larger story flaw but I can't go into it without ruining the surprise ending.  Overall this was a good book.  It was entertaining, the action was well written and the training centers were intriguing.  I really like the overall arch of the book, but there are some story flaws in the setting that really need to be addressed.