November 2012 Indie Next List
“Elysia is a Beta, a teenage clone. Another girl had to die in order for Elysia to exist for the sole purpose of being a companion for the children of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on Earth. Being soulless, she should not experience taste sensations, feelings, or care for others, but Elysia finds she does enjoy chocolate, feel pleasure when swimming, and cares for a boy who is considered off-limits to her. If discovered, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. Bestselling author Cohn's latest endeavor is a highly original look at a decadent society in the first of a four-book series that will leave you both dazzled and disturbed.”
— Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI
Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.
Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers-soulless clones like Elysia-are immune to.
At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care-so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind?
If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happiness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.
The first in a dazzlingly original science fiction series from best-selling author Rachel Cohn, "Beta "is a haunting, unforgettable story of courage and love in a corrupted world.
About the Author
Rachel Cohn is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, including Gingerbread, Shrimp and Cupcake and, with David Levithan, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.