Title: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: October 7, 2014
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
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, an 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, to 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 Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But 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 shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
The Young Elites isn't my first Marie Lu book (I read and enjoyed Legend, but this is my favorite of the two. The book is a fantasy novel that reads like historical fiction - except for the part about the "superheroes", AKA "The Young Elites". The main character, Adelina, wasn't someone I fell in love with, but the atmosphere of the novel was more than enough to carry the book.
Adelina, Teren, and Enzo are all characters with their own chapters in The Young Elites, but Adelina is the focus of the majority of them. She's been abused her entire life by her father, even to the point to where she feels alienated from her younger sister, Violetta, who she loves more than anything. Because of this, she has a lot of darkness in her, and she's forced to behave in ways that she may not have done otherwise. I can't really blame Adelina for this - I mean, we meet her in the Inquisition's dungeon - but it probably had an effect on my feelings for her. I didn't really get attached to Enzo or Teren much either, but Teren was loads more interesting. I do love a good villain.
The Young Elites reminds me of a historical because of the Inquisition. Instead of them trying to weed out Jews, Protestants, Muslims, witches, etc., they are weeding out malfettos in order to find the Young Elites. Their methods in fact reminded me of what I've read of the Spanish Inquisition. Anywho, not all malfettos had the superpowers of the Young Elites, but a lot of the awfulness was done in order to draw them out. That being said, this part of the world-building was well thought out because it read like a real thing. You know, except for the super powers part.
I never got around to finishing the Legend series, but The Young Elites is definitely a trilogy that I'm going to stick with. There is so much in this world that I want to learn about like Enzo's sister and the new characters introduced at the very end. HOW CAN WE BE LEFT WITH AN ENDING LIKE THAT?!
*takes a deep breath*
The Young Elites is seriously a strong first installment in what I'm sure will be a fantastic series, and you would be doing yourself a favor if you picked up this book.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.