Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Cracked by Eliza Crewe

Goodreads Blurb:

Ever since my mom was murdered, I’ve been completely alone. I live in the shadows, because there’s no one like me. I have no choice because I have to fight the Hunger, the Hunger that drives me to hunt people and eat their souls. And I have to fight it if I want to stay out of the darkness.

Who am I?
I’m Meda Melange.
What am I?
I don’t know—but I’m not human.
And now, I finally have the chance to find out.

In this first book of the gripping Soul Eater trilogy, find out who Meda is and which side she will come down on in a thrilling tale of the war between good and evil.
My Review:

Yeah, I seem to be on a roll with Strange Chemistry. No, they don’t pay me. In fact this book was an ARC (thank you Strange Chemistry! *waves*)

I’ve often complained about the lack of anti-heroines in YA. It seems like your average YA heroine can’t catch a break. She’s never allowed to show any kind of character flaw—she must be sweet, kind, forgiving, altruistic, selfless, and basically a reincarnation of Mother Theresa. If she even hints at a less-than-perfect character trait (anger, say) she’ll get lynched by the fans (or the haters—sometimes it’s hard to tell which one’s which when you read reviews…) But I digress. There are people who have said it before and said it better. On to Cracked, and to its “heroine”, Meda.

This is what I loved about Meda. She starts out as an outright villain AND SHE’S SO FREAKING UNAPOLOGETIC ABOUT IT!!!

For starters, Meda is a monster who eats souls. (Her words, not mine.) She tries to only hunt the guys who have it coming, but it’s not because she’s one of those annoying, angsty vegetarian vampires. It’s because she promised her mother, the only figure in her life whose opinion Meda cared about. She plays along when some demon-hunters accidentally rescue her from a sticky situation, and the only reason she doesn’t snack on her rescuers the second they turn their backs is pure self-interest—she thinks they have answers she’s been looking for, about her origin and her powers.

This book was just so much fun. Sure, there are fairly typical demons and fairly expected demon hunters complete with a special school and colorful cast of students and teachers. (Hmm, that sounds familiar.) But Meda and her awesome, hilarious, snarky voice made it too much fun to stop reading. A few of her traits can seem a bit over-the-top—her constant inner monologue about killing, maiming and eating whoever happened to be in her immediate vicinity, for one. But I loved it. Maybe I’m just a terrible person, or I watch too many (cheesy) horror movies…

The rest of the cast are introduced from Meda’s snarktastic perspective, and yet Crewe manages to make them well-developed and three-dimensional: Jo, who lost her parents and possibly her future as a demon-hunter, Chi and his endless attempts to be the hero, Uri, a younger kid who always tags along, the people at the school. Crewe does a superb job of establishing the dynamics right off the bat.

And I loved that for once, the romance [slight spoiler alert] INVOLVED TWO CHARACTERS NEITHER OF WHOM WERE THE PROTAGONIST. It was refreshing.

If you’re a fan of funny horror, don’t mind copious amount of gore (some of which is played for laughs), and are looking for a YA urban fantasy heroine who doesn’t whimper or cower (unless it’s to screw with her opponent’s head)… this book is for you.

I give Cracked four stars.

Releases on November 5, 2013, from Strange Chemistry (Angry Robot Books). 


  1. Ooh, this sounds intriguing. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I also am all goo-goo over the cover. Whoa....

  2. I recently discovered this book and cannot wait to read it. Seriously I'm geeking out about it. So dang excited. And to read a head over heals review has me even more excited!

  3. I LOVE the anti-hero is YA's too! I actually stumbled upon this one because it has similarities to mine, the whole MC is a bad-guy, girl thing. :) So I can't wait to read this one! Thanks for reviewing it. Glad to know it's amazing.