Starters is a futuristic novel in which the world only has kids, teens, and senior citizens. The Starters are the kids and teens, and the enders are the senior citizens. The government developed a vaccine for a particular kind of germ warfare that would probably be used on their people. There weren’t enough vaccines for everyone so they started with the weak. They vaccinated the young and the old first and left the others until last. Before the others could be vaccinated however, the bomb goes off and wipes out anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated, which is pretty much any adult between the ages of 18 and 70. In Starters, we meet Callie and her little brother Tyler. They are both on the run and squatting in houses that have been abandoned. There are two choices for ‘unclaimed’ children such as Callie and Tyler, who have no living family: they can live on the streets, or if they are caught they are institutionalized and used as slaves, though they aren’t called that. They never have enough to eat, never get enough clean water and Tyler, who had health problems before the bomb, is getting worse.
Callie is sixteen and hears about a new procedure that guarantees fast money with no consequences. She leaves Tyler with her best friend Michael and goes to check it out. It’s called Prime Destinations and it is a way for the very old senior citizens to ‘rent’ the bodies of the teens and use them for a period of time to have fun. They offer Callie lots of money and initially, she refuses. When she returns to her brother, his illness has gotten worse and that night their safe house is raided by the wardens. They barely escape. This pushes Callie to accept the offer at Prime Destinations. To begin with, things go smoothly and it seems that Callie will be finished and have her money soon. Then Callie finds out that she has to let someone live in her body for an extended period of time, a month, and Callie balks at the idea. Prime Destinations has her signed contract and she’s trapped and forced into it. After a couple of weeks into the rental there’s a problem. Callie wakes up, in her own body, even though she’s supposed to still be unconscious and the ‘renter’ is supposed to be in control; from there things get complicated.
There are assassination attempts, political intrigue, murder, suspense, mystery, romance, and much more. Prime Destinations has plans for the Starters and for Callie. Starters was impossible to put down and if I could have read it in one sitting I would have. This one is going to be very popular and I think it’ll be a great series. It ended on a huge cliff hanger, and I can’t wait for the next one. This one is a 5 out of 5 and all public libraries should get it.