Series Spotlight: The Hybrid Chronicles – Kat Zhang

thehybridchronicles

Series Title: The Hybrid Chronicles
Author: Kat Zhang
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian Fiction
Books: What’s Left of Me (2012), Once We Were (2013), Echoes of Us (2014)
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Like everyone else, Eva and Addie were born sharing a body, two souls woven together. As they grow older, one of them—the recessive soul, in this case Eva—was meant to disappear in a process called ‘settling’ so the dominant soul can fully take over the body. Those who never settled are known as hybrids and considered a threat to society.

Eva and Addie were one of these people. Year after year after year, Eva held on, not fading away even when she could no longer control their body and communicating only with Addie. When they met another person just like them, they discover that there might be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are high: if anyone finds out, Eva and Addie might be locked away forever.

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It’s an interesting concept.

Why and how are humans born this way? What of religion in this society, and what do they say about identity? Since when were hybrids considered a threat, and why exactly? The Hybrid Chronicles are built around a very interesting, quite unique idea and I was hooked from the beginning.

It’s an action-packed, fast-paced read.

I devoured the whole trilogy in pretty much one weekend, staying up late so I could just read a bit further and delving into it whenever I have the time. There are generally lots of things happening at any given time in the book (except for the beginning, which is reasonable) and with Eva and Addie right in the middle of the action, so was I.

The relationship between Eva and Addie.

I suppose no one can be as close to you as someone who is literally in your head, haha. These two are sisters, but they’re really more two peas in a pod, with different personalities, interests, likes and dislikes. I love how they constantly relied on each other but also gave space when someone needed it.

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There are too many characters.

Picture this: everyone in this society originally has two souls, meaning two names, two personalities, and essentially two people in one body. This is alright and even has the potential to be really fun if all of them are different and well-developed, but I feel like the characters in this trilogy aren’t very distinct, meaning that they often blur with their ‘other souls’ or one another. I’d often lose track of who’s who and who’s done what throughout the trilogy, particularly in the second and third books.

I also didn’t really take to any of the characters, not even Eva and Addie, although I did like Addie more than Eva. This series might be one of those rare ones which could really benefit from alternating perspectives, and I was a bit disappointed that it only gave us Eva’s perspective.

The romance didn’t add anything to the story.

Perhaps an extension of the lack of characterisation, I wasn’t fully convinced by the romance. The ones that are there didn’t intrigue me as much as other things happening in the story did, and no amount of kisses could actually make me feel anything.

The setting isn’t as fleshed out as it could be.

I mentioned above as a strength that this series has an interesting concept, and I stand by my statement. Because of that, though, I think I’d have loved to know much, much more about the society. As a dystopian YA book, the dystopia part of it is really significant, so it was a disappointment that it wasn’t fully explored. I still have so many questions!

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★★★☆☆

The Hybrid Chronicles was a fun dystopian YA series that I’m glad I took the time to read. While it didn’t have particularly remarkable characters and lacked that dystopian ‘oomph’, the unique concept was more than enough to keep me interested. 🙂

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