Posts Tagged ‘Lissa Price’

Enders

Lissa Price

EndersSomeone is after Starters like Callie and Michael – teens with chips in their brains. They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations -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.

Lissa plunges us straight back into the action following on from Starters. Callie may have brought down Prime, the organisation putting electronic chips into young people (Starters) so they could be rented out by Enders (the older generation) for their use and pleasure. But she is still not safe; her chip, and those of others, can still be accessed, and as she discovers, their mind and bodies can still be controlled. Callie has an additional problem because her chip has been altered and is the only one who can be used to kill others. She is a hot commodity and The Old Man is still after her.

Callie is desperate to get the chip out of her head, she is worried that Tyler and Michael aren’t safe and she is trying to get over the fallout from her relationship with Brad. On top of all that is the voice she heard that could be her Father, whom she thought had died in the Spore Wars. With so much going on in her head Callie is conflicted but as determined as ever to try and keep everyone safe and to try and win her freedom. But then she meets Hyden and everything changes again as she seems to have found someone to help her in her quest to finally bring down the Old Man. However things, as ever, are more complex than they first appear.

There is no doubt that this book is gripping, the plot races along and there is little time to catch your breath as we go from one revelation , plot twist or piece of action to another. The new characters are well drawn and the old ones further developed, although at times I would have liked a bit more depth on Callie’s feelings this is hard to do when the action just keeps on coming. There was plenty in this that kept me guessing and I really enjoyed Lissa’s ability to create characters or situations that appeared to be one way and then turned out totally differently. I can’t give away any more plot without spoiling it, but I did find the ending satisfying and realistic, especially in the way that not everything was resolved, just like real life!

Again part of the interest in this story was the questions it causes you to think about with the disparity between old and young people, the development of technology and its use and abuse being just some of the issues that are touched on.

Verdict: This was an exciting, action packed conclusion to this story.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Doubleday Children’s
Publication Date: December 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Genre: Dystopian
Age: YA
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: none
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Starters

Lissa Price

First, Callie lost her parents.
Then she lost her home.
And, finally, she lost her body.
But she will stop at nothing to get it back…

When I read the blurb for this story I was really curious, after all how can you lose your own body, let alone try and get it back? In this dystopian future it would seem it’s not too difficult! I will fill in a little background to whet your appetites, much of the basics come out in the first chapter and are then built on through the story. America has been at war and this included the dropping of spore bombs. As only the most vulnerable in society were immunised, there is no one left between teenagers (Starters) and octogenarians plus (Enders). The Starters are now at the mercy of the Enders, they either need to be ‘claimed’, or they are put in institutions and needless to say these are horrible. Callie has been on the run for a year, along with her much younger brother Tyler. Tyler is ill and Callie is desperate to find them a safe home and medicine. For this she needs money and she has found a way to get it. An illegal organisation is paying youngsters to rent out their bodies to the Enders, who pay highly to have fun in a young body again. But for Callie the process doesn’t go according to plan and she begins an action packed journey to save herself, and others.

I was sucked in from page one, as Lissa starts off with Callie’s visit to Prime Destinations to find out about renting out her body, it feels tense from the beginning. Callie herself feels the danger of what she is doing and as a reader it is easy to feel her vulnerability in this situation. In the descriptions of what will happen to Callie and her body I couldn’t help but think of The Matrix films and losing yourself to the computer. Although it has to be said that is the people who are the villains in this story not the computer. But the whole idea is so plausible and it was so easy to picture this happening.

From this premise Callie’s world begins to fall apart as she wakes up in mid rental and finds that her renter wants to use her body to commit murder. From here on the action is fast paced and full of twists and turns. There is a sprinkle of romance and a little bit of a love triangle, but the focus of the tale is Callie’s ever growing awareness of what is happening to her and around her, alongside her desire to intervene in what she sees and experiences. I found that it was possible to predict some parts of what was going to happen, but other things were a complete surprise, I like books that include the unexpected.

As is so often the case these days, the novel finishes on a cliff- hanger, so much happens in the last couple of chapters, some ends are tied up (thankfully) and some are left open, or half tied! There are also big hints that some ideas that have been set up are about to be turned on their heads. There is much that sets us up for the next book, but for me the final development felt like a step too far, it was the only point that I felt that things were getting a little silly and maybe it wouldn’t all hang together. I would happily have read the next one without this hint of what might come. However the good points in the story absolutely outweigh this more negative one. Hopefully Lissa will maintain her ability to make fantasy feel like reality in the next instalment.

I really enjoyed this, for me not quite in the league of The Hunger Games, but I am waiting impatiently for the next instalment and to see where the story goes next.

Verdict: A great debut novel, if you like YA futuristic stories I am sure you’ll enjoy this. I will definitely be looking out for more by Lissa.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: March 2012
Format: ARC
Pages: 336
Genre: Dystopian, Sci=Fi
Age: YA
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: Debut Author
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