Lissa Price’s books are amazing. Simple as that. I’m so excited to be reviewing this series . Starters blew me away when I read it, and I was so excited to get my hands on Enders, which didn’t disappoint either. Lissa’s strong writing and creative world sucked me in, and I was happy to stay there for a while. If you want some awesome dystopian sci-fi, this series is for you!
Because there are two books to summarize here, I’m going to use the official summaries for the stories:
A riveting sci-fi dystopic thriller and series launch from the author of ENDERS.
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.
Callie soon discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than she could ever have imagined. . . .
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.
When talking to Lissa about the initial idea of this book, she mentioned vaccinations and how when something first comes up it’s the young and old who get covered first. This concept led to the idea that all the others in between die, and the vaccinated are all that are left. What a terrifying world that would be, where there is no middle person. Lissa takes it one step further with the futuristic science, and I absolutely loved the idea of renting out a body. It made me think about what I would do in that situation (though, if this really happened, I’d be dead, as I’m in the in-between age), whether I’d offer up my body to be used, completely out of my control. But like so many of the young, there wasn’t really a choice if they wanted to survive and not waste away in the only other options, which were all terrible. This thought-provoking world was fun to play in, and I enjoyed the different scenarios that Callie was thrust into.
There were also a bunch of surprises in both books that I didn’t see coming, things that totally caught me off guard and had me gasping out loud. Don’t expect the expected in this series, for sure. Lots of great romance, suspense, and and unexpected twists and turns. It’s hard to review a series without giving too much away, but if you really love dystopians, and enjoy weird science, strong characters, and great romantic surprises, this series is for you!