Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

June 25, 2014 1 star, Book Review 37

Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl KlamElusion by Cheryl Klam, Claudia Gabel
Series: Elusion #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 18, 2014
Genres: Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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 is a new virtual reality program that you can log into, the main character Regan has the inside scoop, her father invented the system. Her long time childhood friend has also been working on the project with her father. Her father has died in an accident and her childhood friend Patrick is the new face of Elusion. Only one little problem, more and more questions are being raised as to the safety of Elusion. Regan wants answers; she wants to know that her father didn’t sell something that wasn’t safe to the masses knowingly. She turns to Patrick who is under tremendous strain as Elusion is supposed to go live in the mass market any day. Patrick evades her questions and Regan turns to a friend she’s just met, one who has his own ties to Elusion and definitely his own opinions.

Elusion has all of the necessary components for an amazing look into virtual reality technology. Unfortunately it doesn’t utilize any of them. I spent most of the time reading this one shaking my head. Regan is an annoying teen with a chip on her shoulder and takes pride in an idealistic view of her father, who she complains a lot about not being there because he was so involved in the Elusion project. She feels jealous of the time Patrick got to spend with her dad as a collaborator of the project and yet thinks of her dad as the be all end all in parents. Her mother is suffering from depression after the loss of her father and is basically absent since his death. Regan basically gets to run around all over town breaking all kinds of laws to unearth the truth with the side kick with a murky background that she has a major crush on. All the while Patrick wants to be with her and he is of course very handsome and rich and all but she’s not really interested in him… well maybe just only mildly interested in him.

Elusion feels and reads just like most young adult books. It doesn’t bring anything new to the genre. The story was all over the place being very predictable most of the time and then just going off in some random direction for no benefit. The characters make you want to hit yourself in the face, if not them. Regan can be summed up in one word: insipid. Patrick comes off as a controlling condescending jerk, you almost root for him to do something drastic and off himself to deal with the pressure. If it ended there I could write it off as a meh book and move on. However, though the story line was flat the writing itself wasn’t any improvement. It was written by two authors and you could almost tell when one left off and the other started to write. As you can tell, I was a little disappointed in the story and the writing. That being said, the ending was… well the end. They pretty much climaxed the book in a way that seemed like maybe they hit their max page limit or time deadline and just shoved all the loose ends together in what they attempted to make a cliffhanger ending. Really it just felt like they pulled an ending out of a hat and said to hell with it, this will work… but oh wait it needs to be a cliffhanger for the sequel, oh well will adjust it just a little bit.

To sum it up, Elusion was a disappointment. I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend. I won’t be reading the sequel, and normally I read series all the way through.


Gamer girl extraordinaire, law student, mother of twin boys and one lil girl. I can often be found taking care of my family, working on home renovation projects, reading, gaming, and all the while text warring with Tabitha.

37 Responses to “Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam”

  1. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I was so sad about this one. Yes, I read the whole thing and didn’t DNF it because I really hoped that it might pick up in the second half, the last quarter, the ending. It didn’t. Reagan was horrible and, yes, so insipid! I had such high hopes but they all shattered to pieces. *sigh*
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted…Pre-Squee: I WANT IT THAT WAY by Ann AguirreMy Profile

  2. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Heh … it does sounds like quite an interesting premise. Though, I have to admit I find the bit about having his kids friend help out on this super complicated project a bit of a stretch … but still, could be done well. Sounds like there is not much done well in this though 🙂
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    • Tina

      Yeah, the main character is a teenager and is REALLY independent, this just doesn’t strike me as realistic. They also have tracking devises to know when the kids are ditching school, and she gets caught by this once, but it seems like she is constantly ditching… It just seemed really off.
      Tina recently posted…Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl KlamMy Profile

  3. Emily @ Oh Magic Hour

    I really have yet to find one of these takes on the future safety of technology or the way e-readers are going to take over the world that 100% satisfies me. I don’t know why these books always SOUND so good but haven’t (yet) delivered. Unless I’ve missed a great one – anyone out there have recommendations?
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    • Tina

      No recommendations yet… I may be hard to please with the tech stuff as I am pretty up to date on whats available and possible. This book just didn’t give me the details I wanted on how the technology functioned or the bio chemistry of the brain that it impacted. I want a book I can sink my teeth into with the technology and that has a great story. I WILL find it, someday!
      Tina recently posted…Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl KlamMy Profile

  4. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    Ugh, I hate it when books don’t bring anything fresh to the table. I mean, there are MILLIONS of writers out there with unique perspectives! Surely it shouldn’t be hard to write a different kind of book, right?! Anyway. I’m sad this one sucks. But I’ve read too many reviews giving it low ratings to go for it myself. Such a puuurty cover though. To waste. :’|
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  5. Stephanie

    I will be passing on this, although I would have been drawn to it for all of the reasons that you probably were. What a promising storyline. I love the plot. To bad it didn’t pan out. Thank you for your honest review.
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  6. Kirsty-Marie

    Yeah…I hated it just as much. Almost DNF’D it, but got most of the way so just thought might as well, and wanted to see what happened. Wasn’t worth it. I just, it was so freaking boring. And the characters couldn’t even save it because ugh they were just bad. And the romance, ick. Didn’t get it at all, and no chemistry whatsoever. I hated Patrick, I did, but then I kind of liked him for this. “You’ve known her for a week, Josh. A fucking week!”. At least he talked some sense.
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  7. Megan (Adrift on Vulcan)

    Mehhh, I’m seeing a lot of negative reviews for this book — such a shame, because I was really looking forward to it. :/ But reading your review, I think I’d probably feel the same way, too. I can’t understand why an author writes a book based on such an amazing concept, but then doesn’t brush on it much… or at all. And Elusion basically sounds like a 400-page novel about Regan running around the place doing whatever the fuck she wants. Yeah, not really my kind of story.

    And ugh, predictability. I’m lucky that I don’t tend to think much while reading (that’s how caught up I get, lol, or maybe I’m just naive ;D), so I don’t find many books too predictable, but it’s still frustrating when you can tell what’s going to happen and there aren’t any twists whatsoever. And I doubt I’d be able to enjoy a story with awful characters. Add all that to cheap cliffhangers as a marketing ploy — yup, definitely staying far, far away from this one!

    Thanks for the informative review, Tina! I’m so tired of all these YA books not living up to what they’re advertising in the blurb; I hope your next read is much better. 🙂
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    • Tina

      You and me both. Tired of the YA genre being the same ol’ drama factory. Give me a kid that grows up in adversity and although they make mistakes, they attempt to make the best decisions possible with the information they have… and please… MAKE IT BELIEVABLE!!! Okay, dismounting my soap box. Thanks for the comment!
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