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.
ELUSION has a really interesting premise. It's kinda like the Matrix with a conspiracy theory mixed in rather than robots. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the story was seeing everything unfurl and build upon itself, even if that building did become rather overwhelming at times. There were frequent sections of info-dumps and a lot of things required suspension of belief, but that's to be somewhat expected in this type of book so I didn't mind too much as the world was very well fleshed out, almost to the point of being a character itself as everything revolved around Elusion.
So, what did all that heavy focus on the virtual world mean for the character development? Nothing good. I felt that so much time was spent on creating this world and the suspense involved in the plot line that very little was let over for the characters to shine. Every one of them, even Regan seemed to be two dimensional at best, which didn't lend to any attachment on my part. The romance was just as bad as things seemed very cookie cutter with her childhood friend suddenly having feelings for her when she suddenly becomes involved with a "bad boy." It just made things too predictable for my tastes.
When I first read the blurb for this book I was really excited to read it as it seemed like it would be right up my alley. That being said, ELUSION had the makings of a really great book, but the elements never seemed to come together and were never fully formed as much as I would have liked. Honestly it's books like these that are by far the hardest for me to review because on one hand it kept my attention enough for me to keep reading, and it had a good premise, but at the same time I cannot give it a glowing review as I never fully connected. Reading for me is an escape, so I want to be swept into the story and the romance from the very start. There's nothing more enjoyable than when you are reading something incredible that has sucked you so far in that you don't notice time passing. Unfortunately while I wasn't bored reading ELUSION, I also was in no way swept up in the story.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)