Audiobook Review: Duplicity by N.K. Traver

Giveaway Alert: Want to win one hardcover copy of Duplicity by N.K. Traver? Retweet this tweet or comment below sharing what your most recent favorite read is and you’re entered! Follow me on Twitter @melodysimpson for an extra entry. U.S. entrants only. Giveaway ends Friday, June 16, 2017 and the winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be chosen. The winner should expect to receive the book within 2-4 weeks after confirmation.

Duplicity by N.K. Traver
Narrated By: MacLeod Andrews
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: Young Adult Sci-fi
ISBN: 978-1250059147
Running Time: 6 hours and 46 minutes
Source: Received From Author
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A computer-hacking teen. The girl who wants to save him. And a rogue mirror reflection that might be the death of them both.

In private, seventeen-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. He should know: he’s worked hard to maintain that façade. With inattentive parents who move constantly from city to city, he’s learned not to get tangled up in things like friends and relationships. So he’ll just keep living like a machine, all gears and wires.

Then two things shatter his carefully-built image: Emma, the kind, stubborn girl who insists on looking beneath the surface – and the small matter of a mirror reflection that starts moving by itself. Not only does Brandon’s reflection have a mind of its own, but it seems to be grooming him for something—washing the dye from his hair, yanking out his piercings, swapping his black shirts for … pastels. Then it tells him: it thinks it can live his life better, and it’s preparing to trade places.

And when it pulls Brandon through the looking-glass, not only will he need all his ill-gotten hacking skills to escape, but he’s going to have to face some hard truths about who he’s become. Otherwise he’ll be stuck in a digital hell until he’s old and gray, and no one will even know he’s gone.

***

I love the premise of this book. I love that it’s a twist on the typical computer hacker stories that are out there and for that reason alone, this book hooked me in and has been on my radar for quite awhile. I finally sat down and got to this title and I’m so glad that I did. Duplicity was so much fun. It’s a really fast read and the audiobook is under seven hours long which is on the shorter side, so it can easily be a day read if you’re taking a road trip to the beach or the like.

Duplicity is told through the POV of Brandon and it’s been awhile since I’ve read a (YA) book with a male main character so for me, that was refreshing. To be clear, there are plenty out there, I just haven’t picked one up in awhile. Anyway, Brandon was an exciting character to get to know, especially since there were two versions of him and it wasn’t so black and white for either of them. There was lots of gray and they were both likable and unlikable and did things that I rooted for and did things that made me shake my head and that’s what made these characters so real. It was great.

A moment also needs to be taken to acknowledge that both of Brandon’s parents are not only present in the book and active in Brandon’s life but they are fleshed out characters! 10 points to each of their houses! Parents are usually unicorns in YA books (whether there’s one parent, two, or more) so it was really great to see some who were around and experience the everyday interactions that our MC encounters with them. I loved that all of the characters in the book were very distinct and had their own voice.

The minor characters really breathed life onto the page every time they made an appearance and no moment was wasted. This made for a really thrilling and entertaining ride as Brandon tries to escape the hacker hellscape that he finds himself in, all while watching Other Brandon take on his life. That said, I would have loved to have seen more of Emma, Brandon’s love interest. Not for romance because that didn’t move me but to get to know her character even more and maybe see her play a bigger role in the story. Overall though, the characters deliver. The story delivers. And while I would have loved to have spent even more time getting to know this world, which is a fascinating mash up of a soft sci-fi with a fantastical element (the body swap trope), that didn’t stop me from envisioning something pretty mind blowing here.

The audiobook is narrated by MacLeod Andrews and he does a great job. I love the rhythm and tone overall. My only criticism is that I wasn’t a huge fan of his female voice. It felt stereotypical and not three dimensional and so this may attributed to me feeling like the book read younger than it actually was. Which is fine, there’s an audience for that, it’s just an observation. Anyway, Andrews also narrates Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series which I started awhile ago and need to get back to so I’m excited to get back to that series sooner now. Anyway, if Duplicity sounds like something you’d enjoy, definitely check it out!

Duplicity by N.K. Traver is available now.

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