Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

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.

I received this book for free from edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I will be the first to admit that science fiction is not really my genre. There’s only ever been one science fiction book that I absolutely adore (Ready Player One by Ernest Cline). I haven’t given up hope on the genre so I picked up Elusion.

Elusion is about a virtual reality world and its impact on Regan’s world. Regan’s father created Elusion as part of this big company before he dies in an accident. After that Regan never uses Elusion as an escape until rumors start about it being addictive and problematic. Then she teams up with some people to see what’s fact and what’s rumor.

I was okay with Regan. While she did make some choices I didn’t agree with, and was kind of oblivious in other matters, I could still connect with her over all. She was definitely paranoid though (like hella paranoid). Her father had a protege, her friend Patrick. Patrick… was almost unnecessary to the story. He didn’t really add anything of value to the story (in my opinion). When he seems to be on the wrong side of things, Regan turns to Josh. Josh is very new to her life – basically because of he wanted to help/use her to figure out what was going on with Elusion because of his sister. They of course have feelings and it’s pretty insta-romance (but not insta-love thank goodness).

I did like the setting. It was a different take on a dystopian – most are not set in Detroit. There was acid rain and understandable technological advancements that make it seem realistic. I didn’t quite understand most of the technology stuff. That definitely hurt my liking of the book in general.

Overall the story was alright though. I still don’t quite know what happened in Elusion and how it worked and how everything was coming apart at the end, but I was able to get through it. There is of course a cliffhanger which makes me want to know what happens, but it was almost too convenient so I may just read reviews for the sequel and see if it’s worth the read.

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