Starters (Starters and Enders, #1)Starters by Lissa Price

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What an interesting story. To be honest I would really give this book 3.5 stars. The concept of the story was really engaging and the point-of-view character was an interesting one. The idea of renting out human bodies was really creepy and the creep factor was certainly felt throughout the book, all the way to the end where you’re not quite sure whether the main character, Callie, will ever be “alone” in her head ever again. There is definitely the makings of a sequel if Ms. Price decides to write one.

This is another book I listened to as a book on tape. Usually I can’t tell much about the specific writing style of a book when I’m listening to in as an audio, because I’m so engrossed in the story that I don’t notice. But with this book I could tell that the beginning of the book was much rougher than the latter part of the book. The beginning felt clipped and stunted; somehow the reading began to smooth out as the story unfolded, becoming fluid and more interesting, perhaps the writing was maturing with the narrator. Callie’s voice was strong and believable teen from the beginning and her motivations were obvious and compelling.

The weakest part of the story to me, was the believability of the world that surrounded Callie and “the body bank.” The biological warfare was believable, the futuristic sounding equipment in the world was believable, but I don’t believe that the extension of people’s lives into 150-200 year was explained enough to make the society that had been created believable. As far as I could tell “the war” that is mentioned that killed everyone who wasn’t vaccinated only ended a year before this story takes place. That’s not enough time for society to change enough to create the situation that is the central plot of this story. The whole concept of “the body bank” would have had to have existed long before any war had occurred or killed so many. Perhaps this will be resolved in some future book, but it just seemed unreal.

The beginning was a bit rough, but the concept and characters were compelling. I give the story concept a 5 out of 5, it’s unique and certainly lends to many ethical dilemmas. I give the character development a 4 out of 5, Callie was a well-rounded character and everyone she interacted with had feeling and individuality, some may have been a little stereotypical (like the many of the workers at the body bank) but luckily those where characters that didn’t matter much. The over all execution was about a 3.5 out of 5 mostly for the inconsistencies or lack of believability in the societal changes that would need to occur in order to create the given world. It’s harsh, I know, but that’s how I feel about it. The writing was a 3 out of 5, it wasn’t amazing writing, but the story is what carried me through to the end and in the end, that’s really what matters right? 🙂



Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No, this is not a story about a princess and a boy, unicorns and devils. Though maybe you could say this, but only from a figurative point-of-view. I find it enjoyable that so many YA books are coming out about smart kids, the Ender & Shadow series have competition now.

Legend, is an action packed story about two people, who just happen to be 15 years-old, both are prodigies but because they come from very different aspects of society two very different lives. Ms. Lu has created an amazing dystopian Earth where there are Republics, territories, colonies, rebels, and wars. Our two main characters live in the Republic of America where one comes from privilege, June, and the other from the slums, Day. Some may call it a futuristic Sherlock Holmes turned Romeo & Juliet type story, but it’s so much more complicated and exciting than that. There are deceptions within deceptions as the reader learns about this complicated world that has been created. The main question posed by the story is: Is the Republic for the greater good of the people or is it really a tyrannical empire? The ending certainly leads you in one direction over the other and I wonder whether the followup story will wing you in another direction or stay the course. Either way the concept is exiting and lends to good story telling.

This all starts by smart people/children who question what’s around them, sometimes more actively than others. Day’s purpose is a one man show of revenge against the Republic. Revenge may be a stronger word than the author may use, but it’s the best way I would describe him. He doesn’t have the gang that Robin Hood does, but he is driven by similar feelings of violation and sense of justice. Day has a family that he cares about, wants to keep them safe, and aspects of his past influence his vigilante rebellion against the Republic. June, is an officer in training for the Republic who believes all the propaganda she is fed, until her brother’s death and her orders to capture Day make send her down a path that leads her to question her reality.

The secondary characters in the story are well rounded and have extreme presence no matter how sort a time they spend on the page due to the in depth knowledge of the narrating characters.

Legend was a well written, captivating novel and I look forward to reading about what happens next.