Review: Duplicity by N.K. Travers

Review: Duplicity by N.K. Travers
by N.K Traver

Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Publication date: March 17th, 2015
by Thomas Dunne Books

Format: Hardcover


Amazon | Book Depository

A computer-hacking teen. The girl who wants to save him. And a rogue mirror reflection that might be the death of them both.

In private, seventeen-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. He should know: he’s worked hard to maintain that façade. With inattentive parents who move constantly from city to city, he’s learned not to get tangled up in things like friends and relationships. So he’ll just keep living like a machine, all gears and wires.

Then two things shatter his carefully-built image: Emma, the kind, stubborn girl who insists on looking beneath the surface – and the small matter of a mirror reflection that starts moving by itself. Not only does Brandon’s reflection have a mind of its own, but it seems to be grooming him for something—washing the dye from his hair, yanking out his piercings, swapping his black shirts for … pastels. Then it tells him: it thinks it can live his life better, and it’s preparing to trade places.

And when it pulls Brandon through the looking-glass, not only will he need all his ill-gotten hacking skills to escape, but he’s going to have to face some hard truths about who he’s become. Otherwise he’ll be stuck in a digital hell until he’s old and gray, and no one will even know he's gone.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Duplicity is a book I can easily classify as brain candy. I had a lot of issues with the book itself but the premise just made it so much fun to read about even if the main character and  I didn’t get along at all.

This book is fantastically imagined and the fact that I am not a computer programmer and barely understand HTML, did not hinder my understanding. The author never left us technologically challenged people out of the loop (at least I felt that way) and gave explanations instead to make the whole idea behind the book seem more plausible (because it is a little bizarre at first and takes some getting used to).

Which is why this book was so fricking fun to read. I was already drawn in by the premise and hoped the book would blow my mind but sadly that did not happen.

My no.1 problem in this book appears to us in the form of a lovely (sarcasm) character named Brandon. Aka the main character. Aka a self-centered, attention seeking, asshole. It was just so ridiculously hard for me to take this guy seriously. He is kind of a sexist jerk, demeaning most of the girls around him except for his one true love. *gags*. I CANNOT. I was so enraged by some of the comments he made and the things he said. He is bad boy who acts the way he does, does the things he does, because he wants his parents to pay attention to him and he actually admits to this. Which just makes it impossibly hard for me to like him. I found myself wishing he would be more mature but he wasn’t and it bothered me. I went in expecting him to be some badass hacker and he is just a sad puppy of a hacker. I will say that he does undergo character development over the course of the book but it wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy me and make me want to forgive him.

My next problem was the romance. It was so unnecessary and random. I felt like if this book hadn’t had any romance in it, there would be so much more room for Brandon to evolve as a character and for there to just be more badassery within the book. It could revel in it’s own awesomeness instead of just being a shadow of what it could be.

The romance is your typical bad boy meets good girl and decides he cannot be with her because he isn’t good enough and cannot understand why the fuck she would like him (and in this case, I kind of agree!). My problems with the stereotype aside (oh how I don’t like it when people do a 180 in their personalities for someone), I think one of the reasons why I never bought the romance was because we never really got to see the relationship. We were told the sparks were already there but since we never really saw their romance develop it was just all kinds of weird and awkward to read about. Emma was also just not a good love interest. She was incredibly boring and she was kind of just there. We never saw enough of her for me to form any sort of emotional attachment to her.

My favorite character in this book was Seb. When Seb came onto the scene, I was torn between being creeped out and wanting to cheer Seb on. Basically, Seb is made of awesomeness. I loved the twists that came with their character and I enjoyed their creepiness. I enjoyed never knowing if Seb was pycho or not. I just really enjoyed reading about Seb. They made the book SO much more funner and definitely breathed some life into it!

The plot was also fantastically developed. It was fast paced and even when Brandon was bothering me, it gave me the will to continue flipping through the pages trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.

All in all, I think this was an okay read for me which makes me sad. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I had high expectations and went in expecting my mind to be blown away when that did not in fact happen. Many of the details amazed me but Brandon was such a hard main character to get behind that I found myself feeling withdrawn from a lot of the awesome happenings. So much could have been done with his character and it wasn’t and that made me sad.

I would recommend this if you are looking for a read to take your mind off of other books, or if you’re having a massive book hangover and just want something that is light and will encourage you to pick up more books.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.9
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Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).


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  1. says

    Oh well at least it’s “brain candy” hahah. Honestly I wouldn’t like this at all because 1) I avoid computer science related things like the plague, unless they have to do with gaming and 2) I am not a fan of the MC here. :P

    I hope your next book is better Rashika! AWESOME REVIEW
    Valerie recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #24My Profile

  2. says

    Well, it always takes the enjoyment out of a book not being able to connect or even like the main character so I’m glad that despite detesting the main character for most of the book you still managed to enjoy the book!

    And yes, sometimes romance seems to be added for the sake of romance, and I don’t thik it should be dammit! Not all books need romance added to them, and if they do… please make sure it adds to the value of the book!

    Great review, Rashika!
    Pili @ In Love With Handmade recently posted…Saturday Pages: ARC Review of Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder!!My Profile

  3. says

    I can see why you would have a couple of issues with this book Rashika, I am so over the bad boy falls for the good girl, but they can’t be together, as he isn’t good enough for her :( But I’m glad that there were other aspects and character such as Seb which were able to bring some fun to the story for you. Thank you for recommending this book to me, I’m always in a book slump of some sort, so will definitely consider checking this one out when I’m in the mood for it :)
    Jasprit recently posted…New Covers: March EditionMy Profile

  4. says

    I don’t know about this book. I have been back and forth with it because computer hackers just don’t really sound like they’d interest me. And then… Brandon is a jerk? Meh. I just cannot handle the bad boy/good girl thing, either. It sounds like this will probably be a pass for me! But I am glad that you were at least able to enjoy the story, and Seb! Great review :)
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…This Week At Midnight (54)My Profile

  5. says

    I was intrigueid by this one not so long ago when i first heard about it but now i’m thinking this one may not be for me. I think i’d be so frustrated with the main character and their choices. Plus the romance made me want to ban my head against my laptop when you mentioned it. THERE ARE SO MANY MORE PLOTS THAN BAD BOY AND GOOD GIRL WHO CAN’T BE TOGETHER.
    lily recently posted…Everything That Makes You:ReviewMy Profile

  6. says

    Egh, Brandon definitely sounds difficult to connect to because of the whole typical bad boy thing (LOL), I do like the sound of him as a hacker but his motivations don’t sound like something you could back. The romance, why does every book have to have a romance, especially a stereotypical one? What intrigues me about this book is Seb. Seb sounds fascinating! Great review Rashika <3
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Profiling in the FBIMy Profile

  7. says

    It’s really a shame when the romance seems so thrown in and you know the book would have been better without it, I’ve definitely read some like that. “The romance is your typical bad boy meets good girl and decides he cannot be with her because he isn’t good enough” This. I immediately thought that as soon as I read the blurb and although some aspects seem fun I’m not sure if I will be reading this one. Nice review! :3
    Alise recently posted…March 2015 Wrap UpMy Profile

  8. says

    Well, I was fooled by that awesome cover. Brandon sounds like such a jerk, I’m not sure anything can really redeem someone who’s so selfish and self-centred. UGH! I applaud you for getting through this book with him as a main character. The plot sounds quite cliche with the romance, but the whole hacking thing sounds awesome! I’m so glad that the author didn’t get too technical with the hacking business either! Seb sounds awesome!!! I love creepy characters that bring some thrill to the story :D Wonderful review lovely…wish it read better for you! xx
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: The Imaginary by A. F. Harrold, illustrated by Emily GravettMy Profile

  9. says

    Being a character driven reader, I am not sure I would like this one seeing as it doesn’t have a likeable main character. But there seem to be other great elements about this book as well, so perhaps I will read it when I need a break from heavy reads. Good review!
    Olivia recently posted…Love, Lucy (Review & Giveaway!)My Profile