Author: Eliza Crewe
Genre: Supernatural, paranormal, YA
Series? Yes, #1 in the Soul Eater series
Publisher: Strange Robot
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Synopsis from NetGalley: Meet Meda. She eats people.
Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.
They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.
Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.
The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.
Ah man this is the kind of fantasy I love. A straight up good versus evil battle to the very end. And this time it’s from the perspective of a character who’s not totally on the “good” side! At least, not at first. This was a whirlwind adventure that left me laughing, crying, and cheering all at once – definitely worth the read and I recommend it to anyone who wants a fantastic fantasy adventure! Possible Spoilers Ahead.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Cracked through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Meda: Like I said while live-tweeting this read, Meda is unapologetically wicked. She eats souls, and she likes it. Half the novel, she plans the other characters’ deaths – at the appropriate and opportune time, of course. And she’s so snarky about it – Meda is sass embodied. It’s beautiful. I was sitting at the salon, waiting to get my hair cut, and laughing out loud several times while reading this book – particularly Meda’s one-liners. I regret nothing. She develops really well too – it’s a very believable rate of growth, and in the end of the book I’m cheering for her because she’s defeating that side of herself that’s darkly evil. And the best part is that she’s still Meda, just not so murderous. Well, she tries.
Jo: For once, a character that’s actually bitter about their disability. I’m all for the character that overcomes their sickness or infirmity, but sometimes it’s not all roses and sunshine. And Jo really demonstrates that: she’s angry at the loss of her leg, and isn’t afraid to let everyone know. And yet she’s still such a beast, reading advanced languages while also holding her own in a fight. Plus, her friendship with Meda is fantastic – Jo isn’t fooled by any of Meda’s shenanigans, but to see their friendship grow from intense dislike and distrust into support and friendly antagonism was amazing.
Chi: At first, I thought, is this guy really going to be that swaggering, “I’ll save you little lady!”, arrogant fool? The answer is half a yes. He’s a bit dense at times, but in a really good-natured kind of way, like he wants to see the best parts of everyone instead of immediately distrust them. He reminds me of Peeta Mellark, a truly goodhearted character that you can’t help but warm up to. And even though he’s a bit goofy in the beginning, he shows how much of a leader and strong pillar he is towards the end of the book, but also very realistic in how he reacts to some of the events in the book.
Uri: Uri kind of reminds me of Iko from Cinder – a bit annoying at first, but he quickly grew on me and came to be one of those that I hold close to my heart. He’s surprisingly wise for his age, and is very loyal and dedicated, if to a fault. Honestly, I didn’t know how much I had come to like him until the very end, and then it snuck up on me like a freight rain. Talk about feels, man.
Concept: This is based on the Knights Templar mythology and their enemies, the demons. It was highly original, and very well done. I know enough about the Templars and Crusaders to get a good scope of what’s happening in the book, but I’m sure there’s still more to learn in the later books!
Plot: The plot was fantastic. Perfectly paced and never dull, I was wrapped up into this whirlwind of a story. It didn’t even feel like 300 pages! There were a few twists and turns that I didn’t see, and even though it absolutely broke me, it was incredibly well done and not just manipulation – it was part of the story. BUT, at two points I was left like this:
And then this, to Eliza (if you’re reading this, in which case you know what I’m talking about and HOW DARE YOU TOY WITH MY EMOTIONS LIKE THAT):
It’s a bit more relaxed and slang-filled than I’m used to, but in this case it really worked. Meda felt like a friend I could talk to, and I was totally pulled into the story from page one. I couldn’t wait to keep reading, and actually procrastinated (like a lot) in order to finish this book! I payed for it this weekend, but it was 100% worth it.
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