Prime Destinations has been abolished and Callie’s life with her friend Michael and her brother Tyler seems to be really good, but Callie’s chip is still in touch with the Old Man, the Ender who ran Prime Destinations. He keeps popping up in her head and is still very much working an angle. And now Startes with chips in their heads – called Metals – like Callie and Michael are disappearing. When Callie meets Hyden, the Old Man’s son, she seems one step closer to finally calling a halt to things.
I was surprised by how much I loved Starters, but Enders really was a disappointment. It felt like a first or maybe second draft that should have been re-worked a couple of more times before being published. The result is uneven, confusing and all over the place.
My biggest issue with Enders was the pacing. Everything felt hurriedly told, pushing you through scenes and events without leaving time and room to consider the implications and shortening so many things that everything started to feel hand-wavey. To this day I’m uncertain whether there actually are any plot holes or whether I just got shepherded so fast through the scenes that I missed half of the things (I’m usually a rather slow reader and miss very little). But some things are definitely plot hole-y – like the fact that Tyler is put into storage for a huge part of the book and pretty much forgotten.
The other thing was that, where Starters manages to scrape by the love triangle, Enders takes it up a notch by introducing yet another guy. Suddenly Michael is jealous again of Callie, where before he was just a big brother after all. Blake is still hanging around, though he is brushed off by both plot and Callie. And then there is Hyden who is generally problematic and the romance comes completely out of nowhere with him – I would have needed a bit more than “suddenly they’re kissing”. [Also, let me cry for a bit that Callie was almost the only woman of any significance in the entire book, also a step down from Starters.]
And finally where Starters considered the body renting intelligently, in Enders it becomes superficial, which is shown most callously when Hyden rents a body himself and Callie has practically no problem with making out with him – practically sexually assaulting the owner of said body, who is never even mentioned again. What the everloving hell was that? Callie especially should have an inkling about the ethics of the situation.
Callie in general was weird. Everybody was behaving weirdly, and I didn’t like anybody. I’m still confused about what happened here.
Summarizing: Enders thoroughly destroyed Starters for me. I was really expecting more.