Wednesday 9 May 2012

Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Starters by Lissa Price
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

The idea behind this story is so creepy. I don't know if anyone is familiar with the Joss Whedon TV show Doll House- but it was a lot like that. There is a secret facility where the very rich can pay to be transported into a young beautiful body via a computer link, a chair, and a bunch of wires hooked to your brain! The elderly population use this technology to "rent" the body of a desperate young person, so that they can party, and feel young again, while the teenager's mind waits in a comatose state, until the contract time is up.

This is a post-apocalyptic novel, as most of the population have been wiped out by a virus, the only survivors being those who were immunised in time- the elderly (Enders) and the children (Starters). Now talk about your generation gap- neither generation understands the other, and Enders and Starters both resent the other. Only those children lucky enough to have an older relative to support them get any help at all. There is a strong attitude of "those no-good kids" and "those selfish greedy Enders".

Callie and her little brother, and their friend Michael, are living in a squat with nothing, and risk being mugged if they go outside. In a fit of desperation when they get evicted from their only home, Callie agrees to undergo the proceedure, as it will earn her and her brother enough money to live on for a good while.
But she is in for a shock, as Callie wakes up in her body weeks before she is supposed to with a gun in her possession, and a suspicion that her renter might be an assassin using her body to commit murder! She has to struggle to pretend to be her renter as she tries to figure out what is going on. This is a harsh world, with extremes of rich and poor, but a corrupt power system that is having an effect on the families of both the rich and the poor.

I loved that there was always something happening, always some new twist that threw everything else into a new perspective. Starters is shocking and creepy, and even though it's a fururistic sci-fi, the world building is amazing. This book was so gripping- an exciting emotional thriller from start to finish- I loved it.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the review copy.


  1. I've seen pretty good reviews for this one!! Probably should check it out

    The Cait Files

  2. This book sounds so interesting (I did like the TV show The Doll House.)I may have to buy it now. :)


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