Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Enders - Lissa Price

Enders by Lissa Price
Series: Starters & Enders #2
Genre: YA, dystopian, futuristic
Published on January 7, 2014
Published by Delacorte Press
Pages: 273
Read From: 2.4.14 - 2.7.14

Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael - teens with chips in their brains. They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations - Starters who can be controlled and manipulated. With the 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 voices 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? 
No one is ever who they appear to be, not even the Old Man. Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for herself and her younger brother, Callie is ready to right for the truth. Even if it kills her.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I'm not sure if the cover bothers me so much because it doesn't match the rest of the series, or if it's because it really is a horrible cover. Both, I suppose. Starters' cover was creepy; this is just obnoxious.

Characters: Callie is still a pretty good protagonist. She thinks on her feet and knows how to use a gun. She's much more emotional in this book, but I excused it because it didn't become too much of an issue. What did weaken her character a bit was the love triangle (more on that later). Michael really proves himself as a good friend in this; I just really liked him. He's always there for Callie and Tyler. Blake makes a surprisingly early exit, and instead we meet a new character - Hyden. I . . . didn't know what to think of him. I didn't dislike him - not at all. But I didn't really trust him, either. And the Old Man - whose real name is Brockman - wasn't a very intimidating villain.

The Romance: So Starters ended where a plot involving Blake and Callie would continue in Enders. But Blake disappears very rapidly and is instead replaced by Hyden. And this is where Callie begins to appear flaky. It doesn't take long at all for her to fall for Hyden. I'll give Callie this - she doesn't play with Michael's emotions at all, who really likes her, too. But really, Callie, you don't anything about Hyden. And when it turns out that he's been keeping some big secrets, she forgives him way faster than I ever would. Forget that - she believes him, and I don't think I would have. But like Starters, the romance is there, but not focused on too much.

Plot: With the fall of Prime Destinations, Callie and her brother Tyler are living comfortably in the house of Callie's kind and deceased renter Helen. She's searching tirelessly for Helen's missing granddaughter Emma, but with little luck. Then in a terrifying display of power, Callie discovers that the Old Man - who escaped - can hijack former donors and make them do anything he wants, including self-destructing their chips. Because of Callie's specially enhanced chip, the Old Man is after her - and he will kill anyone he has to in order to get to her. Enders starts off with a literal bang, and I was very much hooked. The plot isn't slow at any point, and that is actually its biggest problem: it goes too fast. The Author crams far too much in one rather short book. She should have written a third. It's not long before Callie and Hyden are rescuing "Metals" (former donors) from the streets before the Old Man can hijack them. Callie and Hyden perfect their method in less than three pages. And then suddenly there's a second party that also wants Callie's special chip, and they're on the run, then captured, then on the run again . . . If it were a longer book, it would have been exhausting.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: First person, past tense. Liked it just as well as in Starters. It worked for the book.

Content: None.

Conclusion: Oh my gosh - too many revelations! Bad guys turn out to be good guys (so I guess we're supposed to forget all the bad things they did), good guys are bad guys, and there's guys in between. Once again, the end was too tidy. And the Spore Wars aren't explained any further. I liked Enders, but it had more holes than even Starters. This should have been a trilogy at least.

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read, fifteen-and-up, fans of futuristic dystopian.

Others in This Series:

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