Title: Enders (Starters #2)
Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House)
Acquired Via: Publisher
Release Date: January 7, 2014
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.
You can read my reviews of Starters HERE.
I have a terrible habit of not finishing series, but I loved Lissa Price's Starters so much that I've been on the edge of my seat for nearly two years waiting on Enders. Unfortunately, Enders did not do much to show me that I should discontinue my bad habit, though I was glad to finally discover the identity of the Old Man. I found that I was not as attached to Callie and her situation, and I was even disinterested at times as events unfolded. There was still plenty of action and twists to keep my interest, despite that.
Things are not as bleak for Callie in Enders as it was in Starters, nearly to the point that I forgot that this was supposed to be a dystopian novel and not just a thriller. Don't get me wrong - Callie soon finds herself in a pretty crappy situation, but it lacked the tension that I loved so much in the previous novel. For some reason, I guess I didn't really like Callie as well either. I think it had a lot to do with how quickly she just put her brother and Michael on the backburner after doing All The Things for them in Starters, and I am Team Michael. Now before you start thinking that I hated the book, I appreciated and enjoyed what Callie was doing for the other "Metals" and her resolve to solve the mystery of the Old Man.
The romance in Enders is also pretty blergh. I remember there being a bit of a triangle in Starters between Callie, Blake, and Michael, but the relationships in this book left me scratching my head. Blake disappeared from the story fairly early on, and Michael was only in the background. And Hyden... *shudders* He was a little skeevy and creeped me out. How it all turned out in the end was not in a direction I would have EVER gone in a million trillion years, but it's not my book.
There was a lot more action in Enders than I remember in Starters, and it was the strongest part of the book. It moved quickly without being rushed, and it successfully met my explosions quota. (I love it when things are blown up.) There are some twisty bits and a few surprises, but I saw the biggest twist a mile away. And, ew.
I know this review reads like I didn't enjoy the book, but I did. Everything I said in my review of Starters applies to how I feel about Enders, and maybe I came into the novel with way too high expectations. Stories don't always end the way we want them to, and Enders certainly wasn't written for me. The book is still worth reading, and I recommend giving it a chance.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.