Review: Cracked by Eliza Crewe

November 4, 2013 Review 1 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Cracked by Eliza CreweCracked by Eliza Crewe
Series: Soul Eater #1
Published by Strange Chemistry on November 5, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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four-stars
Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. 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’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 her ‘kind’ is. As Meda becomes closer to her mortal enemies, whist also keeping one step ahead of them, the Hunger starts to gain on her.

And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny, she may finally give into it...

First off, the standard warning spiel: this book actually has a fair bit of gore in the scenes that contain violence. There aren’t too many of those scenes, but when there are fight scenes they tend to be on the gory side and it managed to churn my stomach.

Cracked is the story of Meda, a young woman who is on her own after her mother was murdered two years ago. She survives by eating souls, but with the help of ghosts, she does her best to make sure that the only souls she east belong to bad people, people who have done terrible things. It’s a great gig, until she’s caught by other people who are just like her. She’s fighting for her life against them when she is saved by a young man, Chi, who hunts these things for a living. Or he will once he’s finished training. Meda tags along with him and his two friends, Uri and Jo, back to the school where she will learn more about her past and about what she is and why she can do what she does.

One does not simply like Meda. At least not at first. Meda is your standard Byronic hero, which is to say that there isn’t much to like about her! She’s brooding, bitter, angry, and not at all a nice person. She spends a fair bit of time at the start plotting to kill Chi, after he saved her, and referring to Jo as a “gimp” even if it’s just in her own head. But Meda reminds me a lot of Dexter, in that while she isn’t your standard hero, she does have a code that she follows when she selects who deserves to die. She wasn’t raised this way, but she does follow this code to honor her mom.

Meda grows on you. Maybe like a bad fungus, but she definitely grows on you. I don’t know how, or when it happened, but I eventually found myself liking her. She wasn’t my favourite character though. That honor goes to Jo, who was injured in battle a few years before, but didn’t let that injury dampen her spirit and her will to live. She sneaks out to hunt down Chi when he goes missing, fights at his side on more than one occasion, and doesn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wants. Sure, Jo is angry, but she’s also the only one who stands up to Meda, and together they make for a great friendship that really stands out in this book.

And let’s look at relationships here. Most young adult novels (with female protagonists) seem to put a lot of emphasis on having a boyfriend. This book? Nope. The friendship between Meda and Jo, and Meda and Uri were some of the most important relationships in this book. While there may be some slight hints of Meda and Chi, the fact is that they are not going to be together and so it never gets pushed. And I loved that. I loved that there wasn’t this huge push for a relationship beyond friendship.

Plot wise, this story started off slow. In part because I didn’t like Meda, and in part because there is so much to be established and developed. But it does pick up, and it makes for a fascinating and thrilling book once Meda starts to grow on you. There is so much that we, as the reader, don’t know. Like why Meda is so damn important, or what she should be doing, or even if we should really be cheering her on (Byronic hero, remember?) but it pulls together in the end, leaving us with, yes, some more questions that demand answers, but at a solid place to stop. For now, anyway.

I started off reading this one feeling unsure if it was for me, but by the end I was hooked and loved this story much more than I thought I would!

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