The Hybrid Chronicles by Kat Zhang

what's left of meonce we wereechoes of us

4 out of 5 stars.

Every body is born with two people inside of it. Normally, one mind should just naturally overcome the other during childhood, with the dominant mind taking control of the body and the other person fading into nothingness. When one of the souls refuses to die, the government intervenes, and drags the offending person(s) in for questioning and experimentation. Addy and Eva have been hiding for years until they fall under suspicion.

First thing, I love the emotions that come into play when you have two people sharing the same body. There is a mixture of great intimacy and incredible annoyance, like you have between the closest of siblings, only worse since you can’t ever just leave. There are fights about boundaries, freedom and independence that become even more important the scarier and more dangerous things get. Addy and Eva and the dynamics between them really made this series for me. I can’t imagine having to share my body with one of my siblings, but it was neat seeing Kat Zhang try to imagine it for me.

Overall, the story arc is similar to The Hunger Games. An oppressive regime needs to be taken down and a group of teens figure they’re the ones to do it. There is action, a bit of romance and the occasional explosion. The plot was not overly complicated or inventive, but injecting hybrids (people with two minds inside one body) into a classic plot made it sparkle. It was probably not so much the story I enjoyed as it was the exploration of a world where every body might hide two people and the simple, everyday challenges that would bring. Who gets to decide what to wear and what to eat? If you each fall in love with another person, how do you handle someone kissing someone else in your body? How do you handle blame and how on earth would a judicial system function if you had to punish two people for the actions of one? I think I would have enjoyed this series just as much without most of the action. If this had just been Addy and Eva going about their normal lives, that would have also been awesome.

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