Sunday, April 27, 2014

Starters by Lissa Price



Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .

Characters: We don't get a lot of time to really get to know the characters. This is a plot driven story in which the main character Callie takes a job that pays a lot of money to try to help her sick brother as well as food and shelter. We learn very little about her past, her beliefs or who she is as a person that does not directly have to do with the pacing and the plot of the main storyline.

Plot: Very high paced plot driven story. Each event that happens and characters that we meet all have their part of the mystery that Callie is taking to find out who her renter is plotting to murder using her body and delving deeper into the inner plans and desires that Prime Destinations business is planning. As the renter and Callie take turns using Callie's body, the reader gets bits and pieces of the mystery as it developed and gets more complex (beyond just a murder plot mystery)

Writing: This is one of the few times that I was hoping for a little bit more world building and more information given about characters and the background or history behind the story. We get bits and pieces and sometimes the story feels choppy, like certain aspects were cut to keep the pace of the story going. I am not a fan of huge info dumps in books, but if this book had been 50 pages longer with more details and information about the characters and world I would have been extremely satisfied.

Originality: I cannot think of a single story that I have read that is similar to this one. I have read recently in several stories about the idea of chips being placed inside of people to track them, or form as an ID card. I have also found that is quite common to have parentless children living in dangerous cities trying to survive and conquer their enemies. I have also read books in which a disease or war has wiped out most of the world's population and the survivors are trying to re-form society. But this book has all of these, with a twist and a whole new idea of being able to take over another’s body through the micro chip implant. Actually live as that person and form a whole new identity/life. A person could live forever this way, just from moving from body to body. (Although expensive!)

Krista's Review: I know that my previous statements sound a little on the negative side, but I loved this story. I found that I wanted to get to know the people and the world more than what is introduced into book one and that is why I am really looking forward to the next book in the series. Callie is a strong main character, her need to take care of the people that matter and fight for the greater good is admirable, and something I look for in a heroine. I was happy to see that although some romantic aspects were brought into the story, it was not a focal point and for the most part did not take away from the main plot and storyline. The first couple of pages are dark, but as the story develops it turns into a high action packed adventure and I was happily surprised with the twists, I would have never guessed the outcome of some of the events.