Summary: Set in the future on Earth, Beta is the story of Elysia, a cloned 16 year old girl. Elysia’s “First” died and her soul was placed into Elysia’s body, minus the memories. The role of clones are to serve the people on the island of Demesne, an idyllic dystopian city. Elysia is purchased by a wealthy family, who envision her taking the place of their daughter who has gone to college.

›   Clones are not allowed to have feelings or emotions, but Elysia finds that she has memories of her First’s life that include an Olympian-level aptitude for swimming and diving as well as what seems to be memories of her First’s former boyfriend. In the course of her life with the new family, Elysia becomes a close training companion for their son. They workout together daily so that he can become strong enough for the military service to which he is destined. He introduces Elysia to his friends, including Tahir. She surprises herself when she develops romantic feelings toward Tahir.   When events involving other clones staging a revolt bring Elysia’s feelings closer to the surface, she realizes that she must escape the island or be labeled an “Awful” and extinguished. Recommended for older, more mature readers that enjoy dystopian fiction.

ISBN: 9781423157199  331 Pages.  Ages 11 & up.

Reviewed by Jennifer Altena, 5th Grade Teacher, Shoreline, WA

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