Tuesday, March 17, 2015

ARC Review: Duplicity by N.K. Traver

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Expected Publication Date: March 17, 2015
Genre: Cyber thriller
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4 Stars
ADD to Goodreads
in private, 17-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts for thousands of dollars just for the hell 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 fa├žade. With inattentive parents who move cities every two years, he’s learned not to get tangled up in 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, preppy 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. Changes he can’t explain to his classmates, who think he’s having an identity crisis, and certainly not to nosy Emma. Then Brandon’s reflection 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’ll 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 Emma and his parents won't even know he's gone.

Duplicity is a fast-paced and witty novel. Brandon is a super hacker and he doesn't care about anything or anybody. Especially Emma, the girl who he may or may not have feelings for deep down inside. What happens when you feel as if you're constantly hallucinating? Such as seeing you're reflection in the mirror blinking or when the said reflection starts changing you. Clearly you aren't in your right mind, yeah? Well, Brandon is being stalked and it's scaring the living crap outta him.

The reflection, who Brandon calls Obran(other Brandon) is slowly trying to prepare Brandon for "the trade". What does that even mean? You find out later on in the book "why" Brandon's reflection is moving all on its own. Once that part of the story hits, it starts getting all hacker talk and I'll admit...I didn't understand some things. Okay, I didn't understand a lot of things. But it didn't stop me from reading and turning the pages. In all honesty, I couldn't turn them fast enough. I found a story told from the "bad-boy" pov refreshing.

Brandon has piercings everywhere, tattoos, and he has the attitude to match being a bad boy. There's some underlining vulnerability though with a hint of wanting to be noticed. Particularly by his parents, who don't seem to act as parents should. I loved that we got to see the story from his pov. Brandon is unique and isn't all as bad as he may seem. Then there's the beautiful Emma, who cares too much for a boy that won't allow himself to feel the same.

Going into the book, I had no idea how much I was going to love it. When reading the synopsis, it's not really a book that I'd normally read but it truly surprised me. The whole concept isn't one that I found totally believable but I was still entertained. If you're looking for a great read, try Duplicity from this debut author. Yes, I said it, this is the author's first book! I look forward to reading more from Travers.

Review copy received from publishers for an honest review. All opinions are my own!
Early Reviews:
"I absolutely loved this novel! Original. Pitch perfect voice. A stunning debut. I'm jealous. N.K. Traver knocks it out of the park. A must read. I. Could. Not. Put. It down.” —Roland Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Peak and the I, Q series
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“N.K. Traver's Duplicity is an intriguing, fast-paced read. It's the dark, malevolent-mirror-filled soul baby of Tron and The Matrix that I never knew I wanted. Don't miss it!” —Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood

Duplicity is an incredibly unique, fast-paced debut. I've never read a story quite like it! With a clever writing style and satisfying hints of humor, N.K. Traver knocks this one out of the park! I can't wait to have a copy of it on my shelf. This is a great debut that will be sure to suck in both male and female readers. It kept me thinking, even after I finished the last page.” —Lindsay Cummings, author of The Murder Complex
As a freshman at the University of Colorado, N.K. Traver decided to pursue Information Technology because classmates said, “no one could make a living,” with an English degree. It wasn’t too many years later Traver realized it didn’t matter what the job paid—nothing would ever be as fulfilling as writing. Programmer by day, writer by night, it was only a matter of time before the two overlapped. N.K. Traver lives in Colorado.


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