I never understood why people volunteer to be hypnotized. To hand over control of yourself to a stranger seems unfathomable to me, yes I have trust issues. Enders finished the story begun in Starters by Lissa Price, that in itself is unique as most apocalyptic stories these days all seem to be trilogies. In Starters, we met Callie who orphaned by the Spores (a form of chemical warfare) and worried about her sick little brother, feels that she has no choice but to work for Prime Destinations. Prime Destinations is a secret business where Enders, the elderly, can rent the bodies of Starters, for a large sum for a certain period of time. Callie’s experience is different than other Starters as she would regain consciousness during the rental period.
As the sequel begins Callie, her little brother Tyler, and her friend and neighbor Michael have moved into the house bequeathed to her by her renter. However, instead of being able to enjoy her new home, Callie is drawn into more problems caused by the chip still in her head, which was implanted during the rental process. The Old Man, the horrible head of Prime Destinations, can speak to her through her chip and let’s her know she is a ticking time bomb as he shows her via another Starter what exactly can happen to those who have chips.
When Callie is unexpectedly rescued by Hyden, the Old Man’s son, they team up together to rescue Metals, Starters with chips, and try to put a stop to the Old Man’s schemes. All she wants is a normal life, well as normal as she can be having lost her parents and living with a deadly chip in her head.
While the first book was not as sophisticated as so many YA books have become these days, I did appreciate the original story line. This one felt less original, and some scenes felt borrowed from other places, the secret desert compound, the underground lair where the good guys gather, the bartender at the club who holds a secret, etc. This book felt rushed and uneven and veered off into some sci fi/supernatural elements which didn’t add to the book, instead I felt it distracted from focusing on what is always the most interesting part of any book to me, the characters themselves and what motivates them to be the survivors they are.