Series: Starters #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
An interesting and also slightly terrifying sci-fi plot. When human life expectancy increases well past 150 years, the elders in the community, known as Enders, aim to relive their youth by controlling the bodies of youngsters in the population, known at Starters. Promised wealth beyond what anyone could imagine, youth are drawn into the program with the promise of only three sessions of being a Starter, or a host body for an Elder to control (it reminded me somewhat of Avatar).
The heroine of our story, Callie, is lured into the program even after her initial interaction with the company rubbed her the wrong way in a last, desperate attempt to care for her young brother. Things start off okay, and she even meets a handsome stranger to introduce a bit of the obligatory young adult love triangle element. But once she reaches her last assignment as a Starter, a full month of being a host (which she will have no recollection of when the time is over), things start to go array.
While not as chilling as the theme could led it to be, I did like first person narrative in this case. As Callie interacts with the Ender using her body, the time gaps from the rental lead to an interesting aid in the development of the plot and help add suspense. Like Callie, readers are in the dark of all of the events that transpire during the rental period, and we only find out what has happened as Callie puts the pieces together.
This novel is one that boasts “Fans of The Hunger Games will love it” and if you know anything about my reading style, you know I hate it when people try to compare novels to THG, especially when – like this novel – you see little similarities between the two. While nothing like THG, Starters is still an interesting novel. I started reading it around the same time as I started Legend, and while Legend sucked me in much more quickly to the point where I set Starters aside until I plowed through Legend, it was interesting enough that I finished Starters before I even open Prodigy to continue down the Legend trilogy.
Starters ends with not so much a cliffhanger per se, but with an interesting twist and a key decision for Callie to make that sets it up for the next (final?) book of the series, Enders. While Starters is not necessarily a novel I would read again, it certainly held my attention and was interesting and unique enough to make me want to read Enders, which I am currently on the waiting list for at my local library.