One of the best things I managed to get at BookCon was the sixty page preview of The Young Elites by Marie Lu. So while I didn’t get to read the whole book, I still wanted to give a little bit of a review on it.
The Young Elites – Marie Lu
Expected Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Summary: 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 preview gave us a sixty page sample full of character introductions and world building. The central setting of this novel was based on Italy during the period of the Black Death. The epidemic swept through the various populations infecting up to one third of the population. However, those who were infected by the plague were not necessarily killed. In The Young Elites, Marie Lu explored the idea that while the adults may have died from the plague, what if the children bounced back and survived? This served as the premise of the novel. These children then developed a sort of power based on how they were marked by the curse.
I can already tell this novel will be fueled by political drama much like the Legend series was. When I sat down at Marie Lu’s panel at BookCon, that was actually one of the things I enjoyed most. Veronica Roth hosted the panel and it was very obvious to see she was very well acquainted with the novels they would be discussing. One thing VRoth asked the authors was how does one choose what to take in the world we are living and in fuse it with dystopian and fantasy styled books. Most of the authors answered that the dystopians always seem to stem from things that are happening from the real world. I loved the twists that Legend took previously so I have very high hopes for this new series.
The thing I am most looking forward to though is the characters in this new book. At the end of the preview, Marie had some questions and answers about the new series. My favorite question was one that asked her which character from this new series was most difficult to write. She answered, “Adelina, the protagonist, was definitely the most challenging to write because she’s more like a villain than a hero. Day and June (from Legend) lived in a broken world, but they were at heart very good people, raised by loving families. Adelina is no such person. Her thoughts get progressively more twisted as the story goes on, and I had a lot of trouble trying to put myself into the places where her mind wanted to be. Day may have been the boy who walked in the light, but Adelina is a girl who walks in darkness.” I love that this series will bring us a protagonist that isn’t a hero. So often, the words have been used as synonyms for one another. I am excited to see a character who’s motivations won’t always be for the good of everyone else.
From the small preview we got, I would definitely give The Young Elites five stars. Needless to say, I will be counting down the days until October 7th!
MUCH LOVE AND HAPPY READING
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