The first volume of The Hybrid Chronicles, What’s Left Of Me, was a great example of the Goodreads “Recommend” feature working the way it should. I gave the first volume a five star, and the other two four stars each.
Kat Zhang creates a fantasy world where everyone is born with two personality living in their bodies. Generally, one of the personality begins to fade around age five, and has completely disappeared by age ten. The narrator, Eva, is one of the personalities of a sixteen years old girl, the personality that should have faded away years ago but never did. In typical dystopian fashion, the personal struggles she shares with her “sister”, Addie, expose the terrible way she and others like her are treated. They discover an underground resistance movement and radically transform their society to get rid of the prejudice she and others like her face.
I really enjoyed this series. I absolutely loved the first book, though the ending was a touch too ambiguous for a stand-alone. Then again, by that point, I already knew that this was a trilogy. By the second book, I encountered the biggest problem I have with this series: it is made clear in the series that most of the major world events happened in this world as well, that the reason Eva and most everyone else knows nothing about them is that America has severed all contact with the rest of the world, but it doesn’t tell us when. Or the when shifts between novel. In the first novel, it looked as though the separation happened sometime after the revolutionary war. In the second book, it looked like it happened around or after world war two. There is a lot of time between the two, and trying to figure out the “actual” timeline hurt my head. Once I stopped trying and just went with the flow, the book was good again.
One of the things I enjoyed best in this series was the fact that Eva and Addie are consistently written as co-owners of their body. Neither of them wants sole ownership; they don’t want the other to disappear. They are written like twins; they are different people, they have different tastes and different dreams and aspirations, they occasionally squabble, but they love each other, and they do not want to lose each other. I haven’t seen that kind of relationship written that well in many novels, and I thought it was a really good thing.