Starters is incredibly fast paced, and if I’m honest, rather confusing to begin with. We’re thrown straight into the world and the story picks up with Callie, the protagonist, visiting a ‘body bank.’ I thought this book was going to be a lot more sci-fi than it actually was. Starters focussed more on character relationships, which meant it took quite a while for the plot to pick up.
I really enjoyed the first half of the novel, I was totally immersed in the world, which was explained subtly and integrated well into the narrative. It didn’t feel forced or over-whelming. A total page turner! Until things started to feel rushed, and the characters weren’t really explored. By the end of the novel there had been so many conspiracies and setting changes that I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on.
Callie was an interesting character because she didn’t have much of a personality until mid-way through the book. Before she was thrown into a difficult situation, all we knew was that she cared immensely for her brother. Surprisingly, she was quick to make friends and trust other people! Leading nicely on to the fact that the romance was your classic case of ‘insta-love.’ I think this was attributed to it being a fast paced book so the romance felt really quick too and was sort of unresolved in the end. I couldn’t connect with Callie, but she handled the drama in a calm manner even though she’d been through a lot.
There were a few curveballs that kept me reading up until the end, but it was probably a mistake to put the book down, because I found that the longer I left it the less I wanted to continue. I think this sort of story could be perfectly adapted to the screen, it felt more like a sci-fi thriller than a sci-fi story, because it was surprisingly contemporary but with a few terms like ‘Enders’, ‘to Zing’ etc thrown in there for good measure. I didn’t see some of the big reveals coming, and there were a few times I was thinking, ‘WHAT? NO!’ I was way more engaged with the plot during The Host style sections, and the final cliffhanger seemed to suggest that would continue into the sequel.
I have no idea how this series is going to progress, because it came to quite a decisive ending. The majority of the characters had a happy ending, even though the baddie is still out there I still don’t know what’s going to happen next. I want to know more about the society and Callie’s backstory as to how the plague that set this whole chain of events off came about. Overall, I only gave Starters 2 stars because I didn’t think there was much character development, and the secondary characters could have been explored a lot more.