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 under-current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care--so why are overpowering sensations cloud-ing 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 happi-ness 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.
Cloning has always been a controversial topic and we get to experience that in this novel. Elysia is a clone of dead teenage female like every other servant on Demesne. Clones have no rights, and aren't considered to be human, they are basically slaves. Elysia is apparently the perfectly made Beta clone. I like that she is intelligent and has a sense of self-preservation despite what she has been programmed to feel. Its interesting to watch Elysia awaken to her feelings and realize that she wants more than to be thought of as an unfeeling clone. There is a bit of a love triangle which is complicated by many outside factors and only becomes more complicated as the story continues. You can't help but feel sorry for the plight of the clones in this novel. Most of the people on Demense take advantage of the clones physically and emotionally and some parts are a little disturbing. This isn't a novel filled with much action but the last part of the book is exciting with some absolutely insane and unexpected revelations. This novel ended on a cliffhanger which absolutely shocked me and has me anticipating the next novel in this series. I definitely recommend this if you like dystopian fiction.