Thursday, May 3, 2012
Callie is desperate. Her younger brother is sick and they have no money and no place to stay. The only people who survived the Spore Wars are people under 20 and over 60. Everyone else was wiped out. Her only hope is Prime Destinations, a place where teens (or Starters) can rent out their bodies to old people (or Enders) wanting to feel young again for lots of money. The practice is illegal, but many teens do it anyway because they have to endure police raids, dodge renegades, and starvation. The first two jobs she does go on without a hitch. During the third, she wakes up in the middle of it because her neurochip malfunctioned. Her renter has expensive cars and goes to parties and lives a life Callie has never seen before. It isn't all money and parties when she discovers her renter is trying to murder someone with her body. Will she be able to stop her renter before it is too late? Is Prime Destinations more nefarious than it seems?
Starters is a unique dystopia that I simply couldn't put down. The concept of someone being able to take over bodies and puppet them around is so disturbing and creepy by itself. The very idea makes my skin crawl. But it doesn't stop there. Bringing in a malicious person who bypasses the safeguards to try to commit murder and implicate the innocent person is even worse. Then placing this situation in a world where teens are essentially abandoned and have no means of survival unless they have a living grandparent is insane. I would have thought it would be too convoluted and weird, but Lissa Price handles it with ease. Her writing and world building really drew me in. The world is vividly painted, especially the contrast between the lives of the penniless, fugitive Starters and the ridiculously rich, decadent Enders. The only thing I would have liked to see is a more detailed history of the Spore Wars, but this may be in the next book.
The characters were also vividly portrayed. Callie is a tough, strong girl who would do anything to help her brother. Even after she finds out her Ender is planning to murder someone, she tries to prevent it at every turn and figure out what is really going on. I enjoyed seeing this world through her eyes. Her intelligence and ability to think on her feet made the novel enjoyable to read and kept me guessing what would happen next. The villain, the Old Man, is frightening and mysterious. He isn't seen in the novel much, but he effects many more things than you would think. I can't wait to see what he will do in the next book.
Starters is an amazing dystopia that brings mystery, science fiction, and so many twists and turns. I really liked that there was an element of romance, but it didn't overpower the book like it does in so many other young adult novels. I couldn't stop reading this book and I can't wait until the next book comes out.
My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins