Summary (from Goodreads):
With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie's life - but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too ...and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body? This is the thrilling sequel to "Starters.”
I kind of loved Starters, so I made sure to put a hold on this at the library right away. I think I’m the first person to read this library book (how cool is that?) I’ve read mixed reviews for both books. I also re-read the first book for a book club I was in before I moved from Chicago. I remember liking the book more the first go-round, but I still enjoyed it.
What Price has going for her is the suspense. I haven’t read a book with this much suspense in a long time. But, what makes her suspense work above all else is just the pure terror of what she has come up with. This book has taken the terror of book 1 and multiplied it times 100. Yes, the company that was renting out teen bodies for old people to do with as they pleased, was shut down. However, now it’s discovered that all of the starters that have had their bodies rented out can also be weapons. This is demonstrated by one of them blowing up at a mall (after being taken over mentally by an outside party)!
Callie also still has multiple voices in her head, along with the knowledge that she is special; she’s the best weapon out there. And everyone wants to get their hands on her. There’s more kidnappings, experiments, high tech tests, bodies being rented, mind control, and super gross enders.
There were twists. But, I found the twists rather predictable. I don’t think this was because they were bad, but more because I read so much YA and it’s really hard to do such big twists and remain surprising, for me. The ending whizzed by in one high action blur. And there was an epic, almost Ella Enchanted type moment when Callie takes control of things for herself. And I absolutely loved this moment.
I liked having my questions answered. I loved having a two book series, instead of a trilogy! But, I do think some of the answers to long-lasting questions were kind of zipped past. I’m not sure I understood what happened with Callie’s father. I’m not sure I understand Hyden’s explanations for everything. And I certainly did not buy the very end. I’m not going to go into details about it because I’m not mean. But, it did kind of feel like the author ran out of ideas for a plausible ending that would bring characters together.
I read this super fast. I needed answers as much Callie did. And frankly, I had to know how things could end for these teens with chips inside their heads. I recommend this series to fans of James Patterson’s YA, and fans of all things suspense. I give it an 8/10.