Wednesday, 26 June 2013



By Dan Rix

3 out of 5

"...the scientific explanation is quantum entanglement, whereby the boy and girl—even when separated by great distances—react instantaneously to changes in each other's states..." —Dr. Casler Selavio, on the entanglement of halves.

In a world like ours, humans are born in pairs. When a newborn boy takes his first breath in the coastal town of Tularosa, the exact time is noted, recorded in the Registry, and later compared to the birth times of other newborns around the globe. There will be one identical match—his half. They will meet on their eighteenth birthday and they will spend their lives together. Except this time, there is no match.

Hotheaded heartthrob Aaron Harper is scheduled to meet his half in twenty-nine days, and he doesn’t buy a word of that entanglement crap. So what if he and his half were born the same day and share a spooky psychic connection? Big deal. After breaking one too many teenage girls’ hearts, he’ll stick to brawling with the douchebag rugby players any day.

Until the day a new girl arrives at school and threatens everything he takes for granted.

Cold and unapproachable, Amber Lilian hates the growing list of similarities between her and the one boy she can’t read, Aaron: born the same day, both stubborn, both terrified of meeting their halves. . . . All the more reason not to trust him. That she would rather die than surrender herself as her half’s property is none of his damn business. But once lost in Aaron’s dangerous, jet black eyes, she’s already surrendered more than she cares to admit.
Tangled in each other’s self-destructive lives, Aaron and Amber learn the secret behind their linked births and why they feel like halves—but unless they can prove it before they turn eighteen, Aaron faces a lifetime alone in a world where everyone else has a soul mate . . . and he’ll have to watch Amber give herself to a boy who intends to possess not only her body but also a chunk of her soul.

ENTANGLEMENT, a 75,000 word YA thriller, will appeal to readers of Michael Grant's GONE and Ally Condie’s MATCHED.

Everyone in the world has a soulmate, a "half"; a genetic partner that was born the same time as them, and will connect at a clairvoyant level. They are officially brought together on their 18th birthday, and live happily ever after...

The good news: The couple will feel a deep connection for the rest of their lives.
The downside: They can never be apart, even if they grow to hate each other. Being paired up is no longer an option, it is a genetic dependence. With the unsavoury fact that is they spend too long away from their half, they will wither away and die. And if one half dies, the other follows in "half death" within days.

Entanglement was an interesting story, following Aaron as he approaches his 18th birthday. Personally, I can't think of anything worse than turning up to a hall and being handed your other half, and being tied to them for the rest of your life. And Aaron thinks the same. His friends are gradually disappearing as they turn 18 and no longer care about anything else than spending time with their new partner. And he has to face his ex-girlfriend, who he broke up with because he knows he's going to be matched up with someone else soon. How can any relationship have meaning when you know that it will mean nothing the moment you lay eyes upon your half?
Then enters Amber. A new girl, who has moved into the area with her family, and her future half's family. Because in certain circles, you can find out who your half is before 18.
Amber is beautiful, and is entertainingly sharp. Her other half, Clive, has very obvious jealousy/control/anger issues. As soon as he came onto the scene, I got the feeling that he was very dangerous indeed.

From the beginning, I wanted Aaron and Amber to get together, and miraculously be halves. Which is always a positive for any reader, to root for the likeable characters.
The story is straight forward enough, both Clive and Aaron wanting Amber, and falling into fights (and wells).
There was only one twist that actually managed to surprise me *mild spoiler* The boy with no half. I thought I had guessed who, but was very surprised. It explained a lot, though. 
I also liked the scientific back-up in the story, nicely inserted by the use of science and history classes at school. It was an interesting alternate history, including Schrödinger.

All in all a good story.
But I found it a little repetitive: Aaron antagonises Clive; Clive or Dominic fight with him. Aaron falls for another one of Clive or Casler's traps; Clive or Dominic fight with him. Instead of escaping and being safe, he breaks into a certain lab; Clive or...
Also, I found Aaron's parents to be very sketchy. Sure, they can't afford to throw him a big party for his 18th; but you know, take him to McDonald's, make him a cup of tea, find out why their son keeps coming home bleeding? Or at the very least, notice that he was missing on the morning of said birthday; or be at the Hall for the big event.
Then there's a couple of secondary characters that seem inconsistent. Dominic and Tina - I just wish that Dominic would make up his mind whether he's a good guy or not. As for Tina, I'm not sure how she's involved - isn't she from Aaron and Buff's school? So why is she hanging out and spying for Dominic?
And then the little issue I had with all the emphasis on Juvengamy (the clairvoyant union of babies). Ok, I get it that it is very bad and illegal, and yes I was suitably repulsed by it. But at what point does Juvengamy end? I mean, we know that halves are brought together at 18 because then their clairvoyant channels are considered mature enough to cope with the union. But what if the halves (who are kept anonymous until 18) meet at 10 years old instead? Or at highschool? Do they link with each other then?

Anyways, overall it was a good story. There was no particular part that caught my attention, but the idea behind the dystopia has stayed with me after the book was finished.
I would recommend this to other readers, and I would also be interested to read other books by Dan Rix.

Goodreads link

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