Review – CRACKED by Eliza Crewe

January 17, 2014 5 Star Reviews, General, Reviews 5 ★★★★★

Review – CRACKED by Eliza CreweCracked by Eliza Crewe
Series: Soul Eater #1
Published by Strange Chemistry on November 5, 2013
Genres: Demons, Young Adult
Pages: 327
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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.

This is a good book.  Trust me.  In CRACKED, author Eliza Crewe managed to turn my expectations on their ears and give me a refreshing YA story with a complex heroine and no love triangle.  Yes, you read that correctly — NO LOVE TRIANGLE.  Can I get an amen?  Every reader takes away something different from a story and what I took away from CRACKED were two things — two things I absolutely loved:  (1) the heroine, Meda, and (2) the development of an interesting female friendship.  

“I’m swollen with the sweetness of Samson’s dark soul, filled with it.  Strong with it.  It has been too long since I fed the Hunger.  Like anyone on a diet, I’ve found that complete abstention never works — it just leads to poor decision-making later.  Of course, my binges don’t result in weight gain, but rather indiscriminate homicide.  I’d say the stakes are higher, but then a Twinkie would no doubt disagree.”

Let’s start with Meda.  She rocks.  She’s funny, smart, snarky, has a strong sense of self-preservation, and she eats souls.  The opening scene with her walking through a hall covered with blood is a serious introduction to a character.  Meda is what she is.  Her snarky voice is hilarious and she’s unsettling in her undeniable need that unfortunately ends in death for someone.  But geez did I love her.  Over the course of the book you see her go from being a loner to finding a place where she fits in, to coming to some understanding of who she is and what she can do.  Meda is a strong character who learns to trust and learns that she can be trusted.  Her arc was compelling, strong, and a thrill ride to follow.

Meda meets a trio of teens connected with the Knights Templar who are battling to protect the world from demons.  Meda, who has never met anyone like herself and doesn’t know squat about what the heck she is, decides to tag along with the teens because they obviously know more than she does.  They have no idea Meda is not human and is, in fact, exactly what they’ve been trained to kill.  So begins Meda’s tale of duplicity as she tries to find answers while keeping her nature a secret.

“I’m pretty sure Jo couldn’t talk about the weather without somehow including a threat. Forecast today: cloudy with a chance I’ll kick your ass.

With the intro of the teens you think the story will go one way — love, angst, Romeo and Juliet type of drama, one leg of a romantic triangle set, possibly another girl interested in the same guy.  But no, this is not a romance.  Not at all.  Which brings me to point number two – rather than romance we have a great female friendship in the works.  Meda realizes immediately that the brains of the group lie with Jo who immediately suspects Meda is hiding something.  The real heart of the book is the friendship between Jo and Meda, how they learn to respect one another and whether or not they will learn to trust one another.  They are both smart, strong, and so capable.  The beauty was in watching them come to an understanding and see the seeds of a friendship being sown.

All of this is coupled with great action and some truly cinematic scenes — there’s a showdown at the end that completely reminds me of the guitar showdown in the film Crossroads.  Ok, so CRACKED doesn’t have a guitar showdown but the setup at the end, the stage and theatricality of it all are very reminiscent of that film.  There are some shocking revelations that I don’t want to spoil but do add a layer to Meda and what she’s been through.  

Can you tell I loved CRACKED?  I did.  It’s great YA full of excitement, conspiracy, friendship, drama, demons, power, and snark.  5 howls!


About Eliza Crewe

Eliza Crewe always thought she’d be a lawyer, and even went so far as to complete law school. But as they say, you are what you eat, and considering the number of books Eliza has devoured since childhood, it was inevitable she’d end up in the literary world. She abandoned the lawyer-plan to instead become a librarian and now a writer.

While she’s been filling notebooks with random scenes for years, Eliza didn’t seriously commit to writing an entire novel until the spring of 2011, when she and her husband bought a house. With that house came a half-hour commute, during which Eliza decided she needed something to think about other than her road-rage. Is it any surprise she wrote a book about a blood-thirsty, people-eating monster?

Eliza has lived in Illinois, Edinburgh, and Las Vegas, and now lives in North Carolina with her husband, her hens, her angry, talking, stuffed dwarf giraffe, and a sweet, mute, pantomiming bear. She likes to partially-complete craft projects, free-range her hens, and take long walks. Cracked is her first novel.

5 Responses to “Review – CRACKED by Eliza Crewe”

  1. Becca @Pivot Book Reviews

    OMG!! I’m so glad I found somebody that loved Cracked like I did. I’ve seen a few reviews go up about it, and the majority of them didn’t care for it, which made me sad, because I devoured this book! I loved Meda, and I loved that there wasn’t a love triangle. The secondary characters were so hilarious and I came to love them just as much as Meda!! AWESOME review!! Thanks for sharing!!

    -Becca 🙂
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