Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Posted April 4, 2014 in Review / 7 Comments

ElusionElusion (Elusion #1)
By Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam
Published March 18th, 2014
Katherine Tegen Books
400 pages
Young Adult | Fantasy | Science Fiction
Source: received from Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You)



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About the book:


Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.


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.


Regan has grown up living for precious moments spent with her busy dad.  That’s what happens when you’re dad is obsessed with an invention he feels will make people happy; help them escape the sad, dark world they’ve left themselves to live in.  It’s not often that I’m a fan of stories set in dystopian or future “broken” worlds. But the thing is, there is so much more to this story.  This isn’t just a dystopian story where everyone tries to escape reality into a virtual world.  It’s a relationship story, a growing up story, and a learning to go with your gut/who to trust story.

Six months ago Regan unexpectedly lost her dad and has been coping with the loss as best as she can.  The company that her dad worked for is going ahead with his invention and submitting it for government approval for widespread public use.  Up to this point, it has only been tested in three cities: Miami, Los Angeles, and Detroit.  And it’s become hugely popular, at least in Detroit where Regan lives because everyone is wearing a headset and has gone off to the make believe world of Elusion on mass transit, in cafes, everywhere. 

The first thing that got me excited about this story was the “real world” setting of Detroit.  Being that I only live an hour up the road, I’m extremely familiar with Detroit.  The authors could not have picked a better city to set this story of a city destroyed by pollution, acid rain, and a depressed economy.  Every location that the authors gave for their future Detroit was closely accurate to today’s Detroit.  *glove clap to the authors*

The world of Elusion was absolutely stunning.  I thought the authors did a fantastic job painting this vivid, colorful, and fanciful world for me.  I was able to clearly picture it in my mind and there would never be any special effects crew that could make the world I came up with in MY mind 😉 

So, Elusion is pretty and the real world is dark and dreary.  But what about the story? 

I thought it was great!  Regan had to deal with her best friend, Patrick, using her father’s invention to further his family’s company.  Actually, Patrick is super smart and had been Regan’s dad protege for years so he has worked on Elusion for years himself.  Anyways, then Josh comes along looking for help to find his sister and putting ideas in Regan’s head about Patrick.  Who do you trust?  Only yourself…  And that’s why I liked this story.     

It wasn’t super deep, like delving into the inner workings of the brain.  This was a much simpler story extremely suited to its intended young adult audience.  Yes, there is a love triangle but I’m pretty sure it’s resolved by the end… err, or I think it is.  Or it was in the beginning?  Heck, I’m not sure!  It could go either way.  It might not even BE a love triangle for all I know. 

For the young adult crowd, this is a smartly written story that keeps you on your toes and constantly guessing.  For me, I had to tax my brain for a bit on this one at a couple of points but nothing that killed any brain cells… just the way I like my books.  I want to be entertained, not burdened! 

Oh, I almost forgot, the characters!!!  Loved them all!  Except maybe mom.  I read the ARC and there was something off with her that I don’t want to say in case there’s something coming up in the next book that explains it all or mom was just written kind of kooky.  Speaking of the next book…

Word is that the next book in the series is Etherworld and is expected March 2015.  I WILL be reading it, oh yes I will.  Even though Ms. Klam went to that school up north…


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Cheryl and Claudia 2

About the authors:

Claudia Gabel – Cheryl and I met when I edited Cheryl’s previous novels, Learning to Swim and The Pretty One. While I work full-time as an editor in New York, but I’m also the author of several books for tweens and teens, including the In or Out series and the mash-up Romeo & Juliet & Vampires. We liked working together so much that we decided to cowrite a bunch of things, including movie proposals and TV sitcom scripts. And then one day we had the idea for Elusion, and the rest is the future.

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Cheryl Klam – Cheryl Klam is the author (along with Claudia Gabel) of ELUSION (HarperCollins 3/14) and ETHERWORLD (HarperCollins ’15)). She has also written nearly a dozen novels (under a pseudonym) for Pocket Books, Harlequin, and teen novels (under her own name) for Random House. Her work has been published in fourteen different languages and her teen novel, THE PRETTY ONE, was nominated for an Isinglass Teen Read Award. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy dog.

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About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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