Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Series: Soul Eater #1
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
The concept of this book sounded so fun and interesting, mostly because of a main character who wasn’t the hero. Meda is a truly unique main character, and I loved that. She’s not all evil, but she’s definitely not the typical definition of good either. Meda’s main goal is her own survival, and she likes to think she'll do anything to make that happen, but she also feels guilty about this fact. Meda’s mom raised her with morals, so the fact that she has to suck people's souls to live? It doesn't really sit right with her. On the other hand, she can’t help but take pleasure in violence. She tries to only kill bad people, and she feels begrudging respect for her new friends, but she's only with them because they have something to offer her (or at least this is what she claims, though you can read between the lines and see something more). There are so many layers to Meda’s character, and I adored that. The book features a very curious transformation, and I'm intrigued to see how Meda will continue to grow in Book 2.
I also really liked the world building in the book, how it was set up with the Templar/Crusaders fighting against demons. I feel like I learned a lot about this group without it being information overload. It was so interesting to read about the Crusaders’ powers and how they protected the good in the world. My favourite part about them, though, was seeing the religious aspect of their order brought into the everyday life of the characters (in things like prayers, talking about how God has a plan, etc). These types of religious orders are included in fiction so often, yet I can’t recall too many other books where the members actually have a faith that they live day to day. I loved seeing this religious tradition actually put into practice in the book.
Cracked was such a good book, one about choice, about knowing yourself and that your decisions/actions make you who you are. For a book about demons and killing there is a lot of humour (wry as it may be) contained in its pages. Meda is absolutely hilarious in her unapologetic evilness (though I'll leave it to you to see how evil she truly is), and she has the most hilarious internal dialogue. This book was sad, funny, and exciting, sometimes all at once, it seemed, and I definitely recommend it.
Not supremely original, but I like it.
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