Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review: Starters - Lissa Price

Starters by Lissa Price
Series: Starters & Enders #1
Genre: YA, futuristic, science fiction
Published on March 13, 2012
Published by Delacorte Books
Pages: 352
Read From: 7.30.12 - 8.1.12

Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I don’t like covers that leer at me, but I do actually like this one. It’s unsettling in a good way. My first impression was, That looks weird, but now that I’ve actually read the story, I get the whole thing behind the two different colored eyes; how it suggests two people in the same body. The title’s font fits the whole futuristic theme, as does the steel-gray electronic background.

Characters: Callie is a surprisingly good protagonist. She's pretty level-headed and takes the time to think things through before acting. She cares very deeply for her little brother Tyler and her friend Michael. But best of all? Callie knows how to use a gun - and she's not afraid to, either. I'm so tired of female protagonists being squeamish about guns, so it's such a relief to have one that knows her guns. Tyler is adorable and patient, and Michael is extremely caring of both him and Callie - it's hard to not like him. I really liked Blake, too; he was really nice, perhaps a bit presumptuous, but not very, so I didn't get mad at him.

The Romance: There is a bit of a love triangle going on between Michael, Callie, and Blake. And there is a short moment when another girl - Florina - shows up and Callie gets a little jealous of her hanging out with Michael. But thankfully Callie's jealousy is very short lived and Florina was actually pretty cool. The romance between Blake and Callie is very fast, unfortunately, and I did prefer Michael and Callie getting together. But I did really like Blake, so I couldn't hate where the love triangle was going too much. And also, the romance actually isn't focused on a lot.

Plot: Sometime in the future, an event called the Spore Wars will have occurred, resulting in the extinction of everyone between the ages of eighteen and sixty (or maybe it's seventy). Those that have survived are old rich people - Enders - and teenagers - Starters - who were given the vaccine in time. Starters who are unclaimed by a relative or some other adult are sent to institutions and used as free labor. Most Starters would rather live on the streets, starving and fighting unfriendlies, than go to an institution. Callie and Tyler have chosen this route, along with their friend Michael. But Tyler has bad lungs, and living in damp buildings isn't helping. Callie needs money for medicine, so she decides to go to Prime Destinations. A illegal and secret company, Prime Destinations rents out teen bodies to Enders so they can experience being young again. In return, the Starters who volunteer for this are given enough money to live off of for life. But something goes wrong with Callie's rental. She isn't supposed to wake up while her renter is occupying her body, but she does, with a gun in her hand. It doesn't take her long to discover that her renter has an assassination planned, but who? And why? She's on her own to find the answers to these questions, because going back to Prime Destinations might result in her own death and that of her renter. The premise of Starters is awesome and makes for a very engaging read. The Author does a great job of blending suspense, action, and glamour together. Sometimes Authors focus too much on the clothes and the makeup and not enough on what the Reader really cares about (the fighting). But Starters offers a good balance of both. My only real complaints are with the world building. We do get to see a lot of the Enders' lifestyle and we even get to visit one of the institutions. But we aren't given many details on the Spore Wars themselves. Who was the USA fighting and why? Were any other countries affected? Why was so little of the vaccine made?

Believability: Not applicable.

Content: None.

Conclusion: After Callie finds out more about what her renter is trying to accomplish, she decides that Prime Destinations needs to be brought to its knees. You'd be amazed at how quickly this is accomplished, and I really wish it had taken longer. Such a quick and smooth climax was a little disappointing. Another thing that bothered me: [Spoiler] If so many Enders were bothered by what Prime Destinations was doing, why did they become renters? And how did Prime Destinations stay in business? [End spoiler] Even so, Starters is fun. It's a fast read, has good characters, and a good premise.

Recommended Audience: Fans of futuristic/dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories. It’s more of a girl-read than a guy-read, but both would enjoy it well enough.

Others in This Series:

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