Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by HarperCollins (9.18.2012)
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
The premise is so fantastic that I couldn’t help but enjoy it – two souls sharing the same body is awesome and awful all at the same time! On one hand, you’d never be alone; you’d have a best friend/sister there with you through thick and thin, someone to help you through. On the other hand, you’d never be alone. There would never be any hiding from the other soul. They would see everything about you – the good and bad, your deepest secrets and darkest desires. Creepy, right?
Addie and Eva were great together and shared a very inspiring bond. There was a lot of conflict between them, but when it came down to it, they were there for each other and they stuck together no matter what. Er…pun not intended. I felt bad for Eva because she was the recessive soul, the weaker soul. Addie was the dominant soul, so she had complete control. How terrible would that be to be a ghost inside someone’s head, unable to move or speak for yourself? Addie was a bit frustrating at times, but in the end I found I liked her all the same. It was just a lot easier to side with Eva because it was first person in her POV, so you get much closer to her thoughts and feelings.
It was very interesting to meet the other Hybrids and to see the differences in their shared personalities. Ryan/Devon, Lissa/Hally, Kitty/Nina. It should have been confusing with the names changing all the time for the same person, but it wasn’t. Which is what really makes me take a bow to Zhang, because that speaks volumes for her talent. Something else that struck me about the writing – the POV is ‘us’ and ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ and ‘I.’ It was always we looked or we moved. And it was written so flawlessly that you as a reader don’t even find it strange or sporadic (or at least I didn’t). Even in the scenes when Eva took over, the POV switched so seamlessly from ‘we’ to ‘I’ that I didn’t even realize it had changed until Eva did.
I would have liked to see a little more action in this one. The threat of the controlling authority figures was there, yes, but it wasn’t the focus. Even though Eva and Addie are at an institute and there’s plenty of other Hybrids present, the focus was so strongly on Eva/Addie that it was difficult to generate much feeling for the other characters (except for maybe Ryan and Devon).
The ending was great; there was some closure but some left open, setting it up perfectly for the next book (which I will definitely be picking up).
Pulls off crazy POVs and multiple personalities perfectly, but the writing was sometimes a bit dry.
There were some gray areas here, but I’m having trouble putting them into words.