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. Praise for Beta: "A terrific premise that is equally well executed...Readers can only hope [the sequel] will be as thrilling as this series kickoff."--Los Angles Times
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - PeggyDean - LibraryThing
Cohn explores the theme of clones used as slave labor, while also addressing the larger questions of identity and freedom. A remote paradise for the very wealthy provides the opportunity to contrast ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - rosetyper9 - LibraryThing
I have to admit, I only wanted to read this book because I recently, finally, read Dash and Lily's Book of Dares...in which Ms. Cohn is a co-writer. I usually stay away from most science fiction ... Read full review