Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Ten years ago, a fatal disease sweeps through main character, Adelina Amouteru's nation. Most who caught the disease died. Others like Adeline survived, but were never the same. Adelina' once black hair has turned silver and on top of that she has lost an eye. Adelina lives with a cruel father that favours her sister, since she came through the plague unscathed. He believes Adelina is a disgrace to the family since marked people like her, malfettos, are supposedly bad luck. Some malfettos are rumoured to posses powerful gifts, they are now called the Young Elites. Adelina's father tries to coax powers out of her so that she could be of some use. But when Adelina shows no signs of powers, he accepts a deal for her to be taken to another family to be a mistress.

Adelina does not want to be taken to be a mistress, so packs up her belongings and flees. Her father realizes that she has left and catches up to her. Tired of her father's abuse, Adelina does not want to go back. So she releases powers she never knew she had and kills her father accidentally. Adelina flees the scene and is on the run. She runs until she is caught one night and put in jail where she will soon be burnt at the stake.

On the day she is to die, a Young Elite, Enzo Valenciano, helps Adelina escape her death and the hands of the Inquisitors, specifically Teren Santoro, the Leader of the Inquisition Axis. Adelina learns that Enzo is a member of the Dagger Society, a group of Young Elites who want to change the way malfettos are treated. They try and find other Young Elites before the Inquisition Axis can. Enzo helps hide from Teren and helps her control her abilities. He soon realizes that Adelina has a powerful ability, more powerful than anything he has seen before.

Rate: 4 stars

This fantasy novel is a great start to a trilogy. It has a very medieval-ish feel to it. The main character, Adelina, is very dark and struggles between what is right is wrong. I thought that it was great that the main character was fighting an internal battle as well as an external battle, it made for quite an interesting story. What also made the story interesting, was that Adelina was not necessarily on the good side because of her darkness. We rarely see stories narrated by someone so dark. If you are into fantasy novels, or just looking to try fantasy, this would be a great book to read. I will definitely be picking up the next book when it comes out.

SPOILERS will be discussed ahead, so only continue reading if you have finished the book.

This book keeps you on your toes since we don't know if can trust the characters. They all have their dark sides, Adelina especially. I thought that Adelina's relationships with the other characters was interesting. Adelina cares about her sister, Violetta, but she also envied her since their father treated her well. I was actually surprised that Adelina gave Teren some information about the Daggers' plans to save her sister. And I was even more surprised to find out that that Violetta had powers. She was unmarked after all. 

All the powers that the Young Elites had were different and unique. I also liked how in the Dagger Society, they were given nicknames based on what they could do. But, I thought that they should have saved other malfettos, not just the Young Elites. I understand that they did not have time for everybody, but they would just watch people die.

An interesting twist to the plot was that Teren was a Young Elite as well. He could heal himself so that made him hard to beat (not that he was beat). I thought that it was weird that he was killing other malfettos and Young Elites. He was one after all.

I can't believe that Adelina was able to use her abilities to kill people. I didn't think illusions could do that, but she killed Dante after all. 

Now let's discuss the ending. I can't believe Adelina helped kill Enzo, accidentally or not, I think she should have been able to tell the difference between Enzo and Teren since she was the one making Enzo look like Teren. Now that she has been kicked out of the Dagger Society, I think she is going to start her own. I don't think she'll just sit back, she'll try and do something herself.

Then there is the epilogue. We caught up with another Young Elite in a different city. It appeared that she had the ability to bring people back from the dead. So in the next book, I think Enzo will be brought back to life, but I think his personality will change somehow. 

Overall, I thought the book was quite good. It leaves the readers hanging on for the next book. The epilogue did a great job at building up for the next book. Hopefully the next book will be just as good as the first, or even better.

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