Monday, April 28, 2014
I read the first book, Starters,and reviewed it HERE. Fair warning, that blog is old, when I was still getting my blog footing, and while I'm not ashamed of it by any means, it is not my best work.
Disclaimer: For some reason, I remember being in love with Starters. I have a lot of rosy memories of it, but I'm not sure if that's accurate. I recall a lot of the plot, what characters I liked/disliked, what points I started having conniptions about what was happening, but I remember an overwhelming fondness for the book. So I'm wondering if my remembered love of Starters ruined my expectations for Enders by setting the bar too high. ...DUN DUN DUNNNN.
Before the plot thickens, an amazon summary, "The riveting conclusion to the sci-fi thriller STARTERS!
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 her 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?
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 fight for the truth. Even if it kills her." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
HOLD UP. If this book is the conclusion, like the finale, as in there will be NO MORE books after this one, then WHAT THE HECK WAS UP WITH THAT 'ENDING'? WHAT.
....okay, uh. Um. I'm going to do a better summary since that one veered into vague crazy land.
IF YOU DON'T WANT STARTERS SPOILED, READ NO FURTHER.
So at the end of Starters, Prime Destinations is destroyed, they effectively put a halt to enders trying to forever inhabit starter bodies, Callie is having a love conniption as she thought she was in love with Blake but it turns out it was the Old Man (the dude who ran Prime Destinations) the whole time, and the world is still a bleak, miserable place due to the spore war.
Enders begins with Callie living in Helena's place, kind of trying to find her lost granddaughter who technically inherited half of Helena's stuff (Callie has the other half - spoilers: Helena died in Starters). Callie is also bound and determined not to hear the creepy voice inside her head anymore.
She wants total control of her body now, and forever more. Callie is trying to take care of Tyler and Michael (Tyler is her brother, Michael is a friend) while she figures her love life out and how to solve all her other problems.
Like someone accessing the chips and controlling the starters with the implants aka Metals.
Things really kick off in the book while Callie is out shopping with Tyler and Michael when she sees an old metal she knew who kind of walked like a robot before being blown up remotely.
The Old Man is back and is rounding up metals for suspicious reasons. Callie rounds up Tyler and Michael, where they both go through questioning and as they leave, Callie is directed by the Old Man's voice in her head to drive to a location...but once she gets there, she meets Hyden; the Old Man's son.
So Hyden kind of kidnaps her to keep her safe and she convinces him to protect Tyler and Michael. Then Callie convinces Hyden to start helping the other metals out by bringing them back to his secure base and housing/feeding them. Good plan right? Protect all the innocent from the bad guys? YEAH!
During this time, Hyden hijacks the body of one of the metals (Hyden is complicated and you should read the book to know his life story - for now, think of him as a super genius who doesn't understand people) and tries to be romantically involved with Callie whose super reluctant since it's not physically Hyden that she would be with.
So I'm going to stop there because the book seems to spiral out of control. In Starters, I think I liked the mystery of the book and the leading up to the reveal of what was happening.
In Enders, I think they missed the mark completely. I want to say they were going for more action/suspense/science fiction, but they forwent a lot of important aspects like gradual character development, developing interpersonal relationships, showing back stories on different people, and continuing to build the setting.
I felt a lot of the writing was very sparse and toned way down while also remaining dry. There was a lot to Callie I didn't like this time since she was such a memorable character from Starters, it was rather disheartening to see her become an ADHD plot mobile.
If there is another book, I'd be disinclined to read it based on the writing of the second book.
HOWEVER, the ending was SO CRAZY I kind of want to see the explanation behind it. I would hope it would be covered in a third book, but I've been proven horribly wrong before.
So, we'll see what my reading load is like when the third one comes out.