Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, and abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars – they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites. Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites and destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of the Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers discover Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side and that Teren is her true enemy. However, the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that don’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
Review: I went into The Young Elites with relatively neutral hopes. I had read Legend by Marie Lu four years ago and was unimpressed, but had heard good things about The Young Elites. In the end, however, I was once again unimpressed. There’s no denying that Lu is a strong writer. She creates, on the surface, unique characters who resist classification into easy good/bad categories and I certainly appreciate the diversity of her characters as well. Overall, however, I found it impossible to get pulled into this story. I like a good antihero as much as the next person, but I found myself increasingly bored with Adelina. Teren’s “dark secret” was extremely easy to predict and Enzo wasn’t nearly as interesting or multifaceted as Lu wanted him to be. In the ends, I think The Young Elites suffered from poor character development (beyond the surface level) and a slow-paced plot.