BETA – Rachel Cohn


Author: Rachel Cohn

Rating: 5/5

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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.


I generally don’t like books where the protagonist is a robot type deal, as I found it hard associating them with human when they were machines. I loved this. Then again, she’s not a robot. Elysia was created in a lab. In order for her to live, another had to die.

Elysia’s purpose is to serve.  She’s created for servitude, slavery. Her owners can do whatever they want with her, whenever they want. Elysia is more human than anyone thinks.

At first everything is grand. Her owner wants to replace her daughter currently in another continent studying at university. Basically, she wants a plaything to show off. Elysia is the second of her kind, a teenage bio-engineered slave. She’s the first to be ept, as the first, Becky, is ugly and chubby – and there’s no room for anything less than beautiful on Demesne.

Elysia serves as a companion to the Governor’s children. Cute, little Liesel, which she protects and loves as if she were really Elysia’s sister, and sweet albeit competitive Ivan. Elysia grows into herself, so to speak, and it becomes hard to differ her from any human. She’s capable of feeling, tasting, loving.

Until one night, when everything changes. I won’t go into detail and ruin the ending. But the ending will make you be like “dafak wutt. wuttttt”

I would recommend BETA to anyone who loves reading and is looking for a new and unique dystopian.

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