Author: Lissa Price
Series: Starters, book #2
Publisher: Delacorte BFYR
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Source: received from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie's life - but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too ...and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?
When I read Starters for the first time, nearly two years ago, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it, considering I hadn't even planned on reading it. It feels like I've been waiting forever to find out how Callie's story ends, to see who the Old Man is and what his plans are. And although this sequel was just as gripping, just as intense and fast-paced as the first book, it just seemed like something was missing, at least for the first half of the book. I did re-listen to Starters a couple of weeks prior to picking up this sequel, and switching formats sometimes throws me off, so there's that.
At any rate, Enders picks up a few weeks after the events in Starters, with Callie, Tyler, and Michael all living at the house Helena left to Callie. As with Starters, don't get too used to seeing Tyler and Michael around. This is Callie's story, and she owns it, but she has to do this without her brother in tow, and well, someone has to look after him. But there are plenty of new(ish) players and a new love interest to fill the void, so don't worry.
Callie is still hearing the Old Man in her head, and she's seen Blake but can't reconcile him with the boy she fell for months ago. She's kind of lost after everything that's happened, so she busies herself with trying to find and take down the Old Man so that she doesn't have to think about things. She turns to the people who helped her before, but they're not willing to fight the way Callie is. Luckily for her, the right people for the job soon find Callie and her mission seems clear once again. Only, how do you trust anyone when even your enemy tells you to, 'Trust no one but yourself, and then question that.'
If Hyden is who he says he is, Callie has every reason to trust him and yet, every reason not to. But he's willing to do what no one else is, and that's help all the Metals -- all the Starters who rented their bodies out to Prime Destinations and had the chips implanted in their heads -- and offer them sanctuary until those who would do them harm are stopped. Of all of the possible love interests in this series -- and I think we're technically up to three now, counting Michael and Blake -- I liked Hyden best, even if there are REASONS he and Callie find it difficult to be together.
It was because of REASONS that I figured out the major plot twist in this book, but knowing didn't impede my enjoyment one iota. I rather liked sitting back and watching as things unraveled, watching Callie do the things that I knew she'd be able to do, even though she doubted it herself. Even more interesting was watching friends become foes and vice versa. As they say, the plot thickens substantially as the story unfolds, and I know it's cliché, but I really was on the edge of my seat there at the end.
It was nerve-wracking at times, and I think I enjoyed the second half of this book much more than the first, which is on par with the slight disappointment I felt with this book as compared to the first. But it was clever and well thought out and if this is the end of Callie's story, I'm completely satisfied with that. In fact, I hope this is a duet and another book isn't in the works because I think this ending was rather perfect, all things considered.
About the author:
Lissa Price’s debut novel STARTERS is an award-winning, international bestseller published in over thirty countries. Dean Koontz called this YA futuristic thriller “a smart, swift, inventive, altogether gripping story.” The LA Times said it is “Dystopian science-fiction at its best,” and “Readers who have been waiting for a worthy successor to ‘The Hunger Games’ will find it here.”
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