Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Enders by Lissa Price

Title: Enders
Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Random House Children's
Released: January 7th 2014
Pages: 288 (eBook)

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 -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.

It tied all the knots and ticked all the boxes that Starters created, but despite my complete adoration for the first instalment, Enders left a lot to be desired. I don't know whether it's the fact I've grown up a lot since Starters was released or what, but it just didn't impact me as much as I had hoped it would.

Everything was...convenient. Too convenient. It's like the main protagonist, Callie, had a permanent dose of felix felicis. Any task she faced that would normally take a character at least three books to solve would take her a few chapters at the most. I'm going to post a few spoilers now but it emphasises my point:

  • Need to find Emma? BOOM there she is at this random place I randomly decided to go to.
  • Need to get rid of this young child because he'd cause the story to lag? Oh look, a log cabin and a maid who adores him! There you go.
  • Created another bad guy but the story has finished? Well, it just so happens that he's the good guy working with the military and the government!
  • Need to find the bad guy and getting sick of writing? No worries, let's just conveniently get a guy working for him to chase them and then check his GPS and then miraculously drive to a desert.
It was unrealistic to the max, and I think a key feature of any dystopian is to make this future world appear realistic - as if this future and these events could happen. I don't believe this at all of Enders.

One twist I did like, however, was Hyden. Now it seems so obvious, but until it was revealed, I was utterly clueless! I loved Hyden's characterisation on a whole - incredibly charismatic but also down to earth, which nicely matched Callie's own personality. However, there was a bit of insta-love between them, a factor that I also picked out in Starters. Although they're cute, Callie just suddenly developed these feelings, and despite emphasising the fact that she couldn't trust anyone, she easily trusted him - just like it was with Blake.

And let's not forget about Michael. Michael is the friend-zoned best friend who seems to live for no one but Callie. In most novels, the lovesick best friend is usually given another love interest to nicely tie up their end of the story. Michael isn't, and I feel like this contributes to a number of unanswered questions. I mean, are you trying to tell me that all he feels for her is platonic, and that he'd risk his life for her despite the fact that she is more interested in some other random guy? I don't believe it, not for a second; I want Michael to have his happily ever after, too.

That's another thing that has become evident with Price's writing: the secondary characterisation is practically non-existent. The reader knows every single little detail about Callie, but is clueless when it comes to someone like Emma or Jeremy. As I mentioned earlier, to me it felt like Price needed a hole to fill in order for the plot to continue, so just created a random character to do the job. That character though, has no depth, no backstory, no real description; no nothing. Whenever one of these people were mentioned, I honestly had difficulty in recalling which one was which  because each was as hollow and as dull as the rest.

Although I have complained a lot about the novel, I'd be lying if I said it isn't addictive, because it definitely is - despite the flaws, I couldn't put it down. I kept saying to myself, okay, read on until the end of the chapter - five chapters later and I'd still be at it. Whilst I wish this had been extended to just one more novel (Starters, Middles, Enders?) in order to extend the plot and increase character development, it was a good read. If you liked Starters and want to know how it all ends, then go and purchase Enders as soon as possible.
Rating: 3/5


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  2. I still have to read this. I know what you mean about having your hesitations and still not being able to put it down. I loved Starters and it wasn't like it was perfect literary bliss. It was just original good stuff. Great review.
    -Flirting with Fiction