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Cracked by Eliza Crewe eARC {4.5 Stars}

Cracked by Eliza Crewe is the first in the Soul Eater series and stars Meda, a slightly mad soul-eating monster. What a great MC right?? Meda has a delightfully deranged sense of humor and her sarcastic inner thoughts made a wonderful running commentary during Cracked. I absolutely love that Crewe was able to present such a broken and yet deeply relatable narrator  in Meda. Despite the fact that she is self-confessed evil and has to kill people to survive, I wish I could get to know her in person! Definitely when she is well-fed though >.>.

Note: I received an eARC of Cracked through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Cracked by Eliza Crewe eARC {4.5 Stars}

Cracked by Eliza Crewe (Soul Eater #1)
Published by Strange Chemistry on Nov. 5th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • Meda! Oh Meda, how I love you. So often books are narrated by the chosen one who is going to save the world, but Cracked is narrated by the monster that the good guys are supposed to be hunting. The beginning of Cracked starts off pretty gruesome and gives us a clear idea of just how terrible Meda is, and I couldn’t help celebrating that finally I had come across a truly unique MC!
  • Cracked still has romance, don’t you worry, but it’s between two of the secondary characters and it’s adorable! This was such a great way to bring in that warm fuzzy element without the main character needing to do a 180 to appease our thirst for teen romance.
  • Meda is so freaking hilarious. She is snarky and sarcastic and since she is trying to hide that part of her personality throughout Cracked, we are privy to some really fun inside jokes that the other characters don’t get to enjoy. Especially in the beginning, I was freaking chuckling and laughing out loud from Meda’s snark.
  • I’m not generally one for dark fantasy, but Cracked won me over and I can only describe it as deliciously dark. I actually found myself enjoying the darker elements because Meda convinced me to!
  • I wasn’t really expecting many feels in Cracked because Meda is a monster after all, but wow was I wrong. The feels! Cracked surprised me by bringing tears to my ears through sad moments that break from the normal sad things you cry about. There was some of the normal causes of feels, but also some unexpected moments. So refreshing.
  • I love it when epic battles have clever endings! When the characters do something that makes total sense in hindsight, but I definitely didn’t see coming, and instead of being magically awesome, they use their brains to save the day!
  • Cracked has some really thoughtful and sweet sentiments, including a habit Meda develops of eating imaginary popcorn with a certain adorable side character. The final line of Cracked better not change because it was so beautiful and perfect.
  • I haven’t read many books with Templar myths outside of the mystery genre, so it was fun to see contemporary fantasy pull on those!

Weaknesses:

  •  Meda becomes a bit less humorous as Cracked continues. Perhaps I just got too used to her snark, or perhaps she is meant to be less snarky throughout, but I was sad that I wasn’t laughing as much by the end.
  • Despite certain epic battle surprised, Cracked followed a fairly predictable storyline. I’m interested to see where the second book goes, but I certainly wasn’t wowed by any plot twists.

Summary:

Cracked was utterly delightful in a dark fantasy kind of way. If you like dark fantasy, you simply must read Cracked. It is by far my favorite thing from Strange Chemistry so far! I am just so in love with a very clearly evil character being the first-person narrator of a story, and Meda somehow managed to worm her way into my heart ;-).

4.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Cracked by Eliza Crewe

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. oh my gosh, I really want to read this book, now!
    Awesome review.
    I love having a narration from someone other than the hero in books. it’s one of the reasons I actually liked The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I really wasn’t expecting the alien to be the narrator!
    Anyway, I’m adding this one to my TBR shelf.
    Thanks!
    Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason recently posted…Review–Girls Are Players (G.A.P. #2) by Ingrid SeymourMy Profile

    • Oo, I didn’t realize The Host was from the alien’s perspective, that is pretty cool >.> Someday I’m hoping to get over my subconscious bias against Meyer and actually give her books a try, promise D:

      • I know exactly how that goes…. I still can’t believe The Host is written by or even imagined by the same person who did Twilight. But there are interesting things in Twilight, like the legends behind the wolves and the back stories of some of the vampires that are glimpses into what her imagination is like.
        Even my husband, who argued with me for months about how there’s no way the host would be good and I must be crazy, saw the movie and thought the storyline was great.
        :) I hope you read it someday! I’d love to hear your thoughts!!
        megan @ love, literature, art, & reason recently posted…Review–Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  2. kelpeterson says:

    Meda does sound pretty cool, and I like that the protagonist is a bad guy. Not that there aren’t other books out there like that, but not as many as are hero-driven, and fewer are done well. Definitely adding this to my to-read list.

    However, I am disappointed: it appears this “soul eater” has nothing to do with the anime of the same name. Haven’t watched it in years, but were the two related, I would be guaranteed many laughs upon reading this book. Oh well, I suppose I’ll just take your word that it’s good. ;)

    • Oh definitely, there are other examples, but I haven’t really run into many in YA, so it was a relief to encounter one :D

      Hehe, nope, the book isn’t related, sorry ;-)

  3. This sounds awesome. I love sarcastic main characters! And that she’s a bad guy makes it so unique. I’ll definitely be watching for this one.
    Sarah recently posted…Differential EquationsMy Profile

  4. That’s som pretty high praise! This one’s on my radar too, and I got a copy of it from trange Chemistry a while ago. It’ll probably end up being the next book I read, since I’m looking for a couple of shorter books to help pad out my reading and review list. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. This sounds like a mix between Dexter and the Croaked series. It shows some real promise!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #65My Profile

  6. Adelynne Chang says:

    Thanks so much for reviewing this! I saw this book up on YA Book Exchange but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be worth the trade… now I want to read it so badly! :D
    Looking forward to reading this, I love this new concept and the romance sounds really interesting.

  7. What a cool twist on the typical fantasy novel! This sounds wonderful :)

  8. I couldn’t agree more with your review! I loved how I was laughing out loud at some parts. I found this book to be a complete surprise. I requested it on an impulse from NetGalley and was a bit disappointed when I got approval, because I didn’t think I’d like to read it and regretted requesting it. However,when I started it on an impulse, I had it finished the same day. It was such a fun, sometimes sweet, read. Those popcorn moments! I found the novel to be marvelously well written. I can’t wait to read the next installment of this series. Great review!
    Jennifer @ Live to Read, Love to Read recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get My Hands OnMy Profile

    • I have been nervous about requesting Strange Chem books since they have been hit or miss, but I was so happy with how Cracked turned out! The popcorn!!!! That ending popcorn scene *sniff*

  9. I so want to read this !! I haven’t been able to find any trace of it at my library, even for being ordered, so I might just have to buy a copy someday. Thanks for reviewing this one :) I’ve been wanting to hear how you liked it.

    • Since it’s small pub, I can imagine your library might not have even heard of it! You can usually request books though through them as well :D

  10. Wow. Regretting skipping this one now. I too thought it looked like another YA that would be a good premise but not much else. Now I have to keep an eye out for it again.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘Maskerade’ by Terry PratchettMy Profile

  11. So, yeah, my review is just going to be a link to yours with a big DITTO. You summed up everything I loved about this book (the snark! the romance! URI!). Cracked really took me by surprise – I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it nearly as much as I did and I can’t wait to see what the sequel has in store.

  12. Dragana @ Bookworm Dreams says:

    I don’t know why but when review copy of Cracked was up on NetGalley I didn’t request it. It sounded like it will be typical ya paranormal to me. But now reviews from other bloggers are coming and they are all praising Cracked and it seems like I made a big mistake…
    I like snarky narrators that’s another reason why I am adding this book to my tbr.
    Dragana @ Bookworm Dreams recently posted…Where To Find Free Themes For Your WordPress WebsiteMy Profile

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  1. […] Crushed ARC, and it has quite a few very positive reviews on Goodreads. Of course, I’ve also heard that Cracked is very good, which is why I want to read […]

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