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Starters by Lissa Price EARLY REVIEW

Starters by Lissa Price (Starters #1)

Egalley thanks to Random House Children's Books


Synopsis from Goodreads
HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER

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. . . .


Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US |  The Book Depository US/UK

Release Date: US 13th March 2012/UK 29th March 2012

* * * 
It was actually a relief to find a dystopian that didn't revolve around love story. Starters is a very, very good book which reads like high-octane, supercharged thriller with just enough world-building and characterisation to make it believable and creeptastic.



Imagine US in near future, where Spore Wars wiped out all the population between 20 and 60, because the people who got vaccinated first were the most  vulnerable - the kids and the older generation. They were the only ones who had a chance of survival when the spores were released.


What if you haven't had grandparents and according to martial law were not allowed to work? As a kid, a teen you are refused your right to earn money and if you get caught you will be taken into one of the institutions that are no more than juvies in disguise.


The Elders see most kids as the troublemakers at the best of times. Imagine, what would they do if they are left in charge?


Callie squats in one of the old flats with her seven-year-old brother who is almost always ill, and with a friend Michael. They've been living on the streets for a year, and she is always hungry, dirty, cold, and desperate to find help for her brother.


When she hears about Prime Destinations - a service where your mind goes to sleep for a week or so and your body gets taken over by one of the elders who can experience youth through you, it doesn't sound like a hard way to make money. Creepy? Sure. But not hard.


However, the client who takes over her body is the one who tampers with her chip in order to uncover the big and sinister conspiracy behind Prime Destinations and its leader Old Man, who always wears a mask.


Woken up in a posh night club in  the middle of conversation, she is forced to take on the life of her renter. Between blackouts and strange voices in her head, before she even manages to realise what is going on, Callie is on the run for her life, helping her client and trying to save her little brother and Michael.


What I found really fascinating was a pretty advanced futuristic world even in a dystopia like this - the extended life to 150-200 years, the almost flawless reconstruction surgery, ways to heal people much faster, cures for many diseases and of course the technology that allowed to use someone else's body.


The drawbacks, - the lack of history of Spore Wars (who fought whom? why they fought?) and what about the rest of the world which didn't suffer from the same problems, what happened to them? - were impossible to ignore like a very large elephant in the room. (It irritated the hell out of me just like it happened with Dark Inside).


Would it have killed the author/editor team to have a tiny prologue in a manner of Star Wars? :) It would have added clarity and made us see the big picture much easier. 

Oh well, I suppose we can't have everything, besides it's an ARC, maybe they'll add to it before publishing the final copy :)


Other than that, the book is nearly perfect. I breezed through it, it's addictive and very refreshing. Highly recommended.


* * *
Посреди книжного рынка, переполненного псевдо-антиутопиями, где сюжет "она встречает его, любовь-морковь, жизнь за него отдам-не пожалею" обычно заменяет всё остальное, включая построение мира, Starters читается легко и свежо.


К моему облегчению, любовной истории здесь нет, есть взрывной интересный футуристический триллер, странный и морозящий, увлекательный и очень быстрый.


США после вирусных войн в недалёком будущем теряет огромный возрастной пласт населения между 20 и 60-ю годами. Причина проста. Так как те, кто наиболее подвержены вирусам - это дети и старики, то их вакцинировали первыми, а остальных не успели перед аттакой.


Вот и представьте себе государство, отрезанное от остального мира из-за боязни заражения. государство. где всем управляют старики. А помните, как они относятся к подросткам в лучшие времена?  Вот и представьте, что происходит с детьми и подростками, у которых не осталось бабушки и дедушки, чтобы их защитить, а все остальные считают их неудобством и хулиганами. которых надо всех хватать на улицах и сажать в интернаты, что ничем не лучше тюрем...


А ведь по военным законом, которые до сих пор не изменены. детям и подросткам запрещено работать.


Калли 16 лет, и она вот уже год живет на улицах вместе с больным 7-летним братишкой и другом Майклом. Они постоянно голодают. мёрзнут. опасаются враждебных  группировок тинэйджеров и маршаллов, которые готовы упечь  ихв интернаты в случае поимки. Калли к тому же очаянно пытается найти медицинскую помощь для брата.


Прайм Дестинэйшэнс звучит как решение всех проблем. Засни на неделю или две, пока в твоём теле переживает молодость один из богатых стариков. проснись отдохнувшей, получи деньги и свободен.


Но не тут-то было. Калли засыпает в клинике, а просыпается посреди роскошного нелегального ночного клуба. Её клиент модифицировала чип Калли, и теперь между внезапными потерями сознания и голосами в её голове, Калли оказывается втянута в попытку отомстить и остановить огромный заговор, который подвергнет тысячи подростков опасности. Не успев оглянуться, Калли оказывается в бегах, пытаясь помочь своему клиенту, раскрыть тайну личность босса Прайм Дестинэйшенс, спасти своего братишку и вообще выжить...


Единственный жирный недостаток книги - отсутствие предыстории. И она ох как тут нужна! Что за вирусные войны, с кем воевали. что произошло в остальном мире? - хрен его знает. А ведь всего лишь нужен был небольшой пролог в стиле Звёздных войн, чтобы эту ситуацию исправить.


Плюсы книги это её футуристические элементы - удлиннённая до 150-200 лет жизнь, реконструктивная хирургия, возможности очень быстро вылечивать раны и повреждения, лекарства, излечивающие большинство смертельных болезней.


В общем, очень советую. Вторая книга Enders уже не за горами.


9/10
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