- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: HL510L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780385742498
- ISBN-13: 978-0385742498
- ASIN: 0385742495
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 126 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Enders Hardcover – January 7, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Callie successfully brought down Prime Destinations, but that wasn't the end. While she and her family are at the mall, another Starter with a chip in her head has her body hijacked and is turned into a living bomb-all while the Old Man addresses Callie directly through her mind. The protagonist is determined to take him down once and for all and to regain control of her mind and body for good. Price's writing is functional at best and clichéd at worst, too frequently leaning on crutches (like emotion flashing in a character's eyes), but the point here is the story, not its telling. While the first half of Enders drags, especially after the pervasive tension in Starters (Delacorte, 2012), things pick up once Callie is kidnapped by Hyden, the Old Man's son, who opposes his father's work. Her attraction to Hyden feels forced and tacked-on. In the end, all questions are answered and all conflicts resolved (some rather quickly and a little too perfectly), and the book's hopeful ending points toward society's eventual recovery from the effects of the Spore Wars and the generational conflict it caused. Recommended strictly for hard-core fans of the first book who can overlook this sequel's flaws.—Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Library
Bringing to conclusion the story arc begun in Starters (2012), Price’s first take on a postplague Los Angeles, this is pure, adrenaline-fueled plot. Hopefully, you know the setup: a society where bioengineering-enabled older people inhabit the bodies of teens, thus giving them a chance to revisit youth. While Callie, a teen “Metal” with a chip in her head, helped bring down the evil Prime Destinations company, the mastermind, the Old Man, got away. Now, despite the loss of his facility, he is still able to access Callie’s head. A number of tricky twists lead Callie to believe her father may have survived the plague that took down his generation, and might know something useful about the technology. And what’s that? An inappropriate love interest in the form of the Old Man’s son. Callie best heed the Old Man’s advice: “Trust no one but yourself . . . and then question that.” Fans of Starters will gobble this up, and while the ending is conclusive, there remains room to imagine Callie and her fellow Metals in new adventures. Grades 7-10. --Karen Cruze
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"Enders" is a page-turner just like the first novel. Price has just a very distinct way of writing that's fast-paced and makes you want to, even NEED to find out what happens next. I found myself completely ignoring the page count and not noticing how much of it I had read in one session. (Writing 4/5)
I'm a little disappointed with Price suddenly losing a bit of her originality. What I initially LOVED about "Starters" is that it's a fresh premise, unlike anything I've ever read before. With dystopian YA there's always a handful of traits that authors tend to subconsciously go back to when in doubt. I was very disappointed of her using the "lost family member helping to take down the antagonist" cliche. I'd rather have Callie figuring it out on her own just like she did in the first novel. With that impressive amount of influential supporters she gained through the past events, it's certainly not very far-fetched.
Finding out about the Middles, the supposedly lost generation that died in the Spore Wars, had me rolling my eyes. The entire world of "Enders" is based around the tragedy that is having to lose your parents/children due to the catastrophy and having to cope with the poverty and huge gap between rich and poor resulting from it. Had there been a possibility to save that generation, Price should have at least included a Middle character in the first novel. It feels just too easy to have a handful rich people that survived and honestly, I'd rather not have her introduce this. How do you even define who's what now? Where does a Starter end and a Middle start? The terms Starter and Ender only function if they are clearly distinguishable from the outside persepective. Of course, it's personal preference here but the world is already established and I'm not a fan of throwing more complicated main points into a series two books in.
I noticed that in this one, Price puts heavy emphasis on the aesthetics in her world. By adding futuristic elements to it subtly (holographic clothing, air screens etc), her whole world becomes more real. I always felt like the world of "Starters" wasn't that realistic, given that there are hardly any technological advances besides the sudden possibility of people living up to be 200+ years. Especially because the environment and the whole feel of the city wasn't that different from a present day place aside from the ruins that Callie, Michael & Tyler seeked shelter in.
There's a lot of new characters being introduced, especially among the young Starters that it's very hard to keep up with them. At a certain point I just stopped trying to remember looks, personality traits and details because I knew that the characters weren't going to stick around for long in the first place. That's definitely a major point of criticism in Price's novels: You can always tell who's going to survive and who's essential for the current plot line. Price tends to throw away her side characters or even kill them off the second they've proven to be helpful for Callie. When you know she's got everything figured out and a planned agenda that she might go through alone as well- there's a character death coming up.
What really had me gasping for air is the resolution of the mystery of the Old Man. It's impossible to tackle the topic without spoilers. Initially I was so annoyed at the introduction of Hyden, because I feared that Price is headed towards the love-triangle-road, given that Michael clearly had a romantic interest in Callie in the first novel and they both figuratively ruffle their feathers around each other like peacocks trying to impress their mate the most. The resolution of it all is just so... brilliant that I'm really struggling to find words for it. While reading I felt sometimes like everything was just too easy and too convenient all the time, but I promise you, you're going to lose that feeling in thelast 10 pages. I rarely read a novel concluding a series that had absolutely no open questions left. You can tell it's a great series conclusion when I'm tempted to just pick up "Starters" again and reread the series. Great job. (Characters 4/5)
Overall: Do I Recommend?
Yes. Just like "Starters", "Enders" is a fresh breath of air unlike any other dystopian novel on the market right now. It has its flaws, the sequel dives a bit into the more predictable side, but I mean this novel is so refreshing that you might turn a blind eye to that. It's definitely unique, insanely well-written and captivating. Of course I recommend, even though I must say that the first novel "Starters" also works as a stand-alone novel and you don't necessarily have to read the sequel.