The Young Elites (A Young Elites Novel)
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An explosive new series from New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy, Marie Lu
Darth Vader, Voldemort, Maleficent. Witness the rise of a new villain.
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.
Books in the series:
The Young Elites (The First Book of The Young Elites)
The Rose Society (The Second Book of The Young Elites)
From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—A rollicking series opener from the author of the "Legend" series (Putnam). Imagine surviving a plague of fever, only to be marked as an abomination by your countrymen. Most survivors of the sickness that vanquished thousands in this alternative medieval world possess a strange and unique marking, whether it be a facial coloring, oddly tinged hair, or, in Adelina's case, a missing eye. Called malfettos, some are endowed with magical gifts that enable them to control wind, fire, earth, and even humans. All Adelina has ever wanted is to feel accepted and loved, but she's ignored by her father, and her sister doesn't have the power to save her. When the teen escapes an unwanted proposal, she unwittingly becomes a member of the Dagger Society, an Elite group of malfettos bent on using their supernatural abilities to escape the Inquisition's genocide and place their leader, Enzo, on the throne of Kenettra. Adelina struggles with an increasing distrust of Enzo, her fellow Elites, and herself, all while learning how to control her powers of illusion and disillusion. Lu seamlessly melds an unforgettable and intoxicating historical fantasy narrative with a strong female protagonist that grapples with an issue experienced by all young adults—acceptance of one's self. Well written, fast paced without being confusing, and enjoyable enough for teens, reluctant readers, and even adults. Brimming with engaging battles—physical and emotional—and meticulous backdrops, Lu's new series will be a surefire hit with old and new fans alike.—Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product description
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While the premise wasn't incredibly original to me, Adelina was the character who intrigued me. How many books have you read with a character who imagines such a bloodthirsty, violent revenge? In my case, not many. Adelina wants those who wronged her to suffer and she does not imagine any mercy. Adelina is dark, villainous and yet I rooted for her the entire book, even if it made me slightly uncomfortable to do so at times. Throughout the book it is hinted that she has a 'darkness' in her and that she can't be trusted. While we only got a glimpse of this power, it is both intriguing and powerful, and Adelina relishes the power she possess.
Like I mentioned above, the idea of a world catastrophe with emerging young people with strange powers is a trope I've seen before. It also happens to be one of my favorite tropes because I am a sucker for discovering all these characters with unique powers. Some can control elements like fire and wind, while some can make objects disappear and reappear in another location. While I don't want to go into detail for Adelina's power, know that it is versatile, original and probably more powerful than we realize at this point in the story so far.
As far as supporting characters, there are a few important ones to note:
Enzo is the leader of the Dagger Society, or the group of Young Elites that Adelina discovers. Enzo is distant, interesting and definitely has an agenda of his own. He is fascinated by Adelina's powers, despite repeated warnings that she could be dangerous. There is also a hint of attraction between the two, but I had a hard time trusting his motivations. Adelina's most important priority is herself, so I couldn't get too attached to other characters because I never knew when Adelina could turn on them.
Teren is a character I am excited to see more of. While him and Adelina are on opposing sides of this story, I have a feeling he will be an important character in the series. He is responsible for hunting down Adelina and the other Elites, but we soon learn he is harboring a secret of his own.
Violetta is Adelina's sister and while their relationship is contentious at times, she is arguably the only character Adelina has any feelings for at all. Unfortunately, Adelina has been hardened by the harsh treatment in her childhood and the prejudice against her for being a malfetto has hardened her heart. Violetta represents the only good part of Adelina that is left and I was pleasantly surprised with her character arc in this book.
The ending fell a little flat for me in terms of action, I think I was just hoping for more. Although there were a few surprising twists and turns! I will definitely be reading the next book because I need to know what happens to Adelina. Sure, she has had a pretty terrible life so far, but she is going down a dark path and I personally can't wait to see where it leads. I love the idea of reading about an anti-hero! Adelina makes a lot of questionable decisions throughout the book and it seems like she is starting to succumb to the call of her dark power. Will she continue down this path? Will she get the revenge she desires? Or will Violetta continue to be the voice of her conscience? I am excited to find out!
Having already read Marie Lu’s Legacy series, I went into the book expecting to enjoy it. Even so, the book had a number of surprises that I was not expecting and deeply appreciated (such as the fate of an important character and the motivation of another). In this regard, the series felt like a step forward in Lu’s writing. The Legacy series has shown that Lu has no qualms killing off major characters, but it is rarely done so early in a series. This established high stakes that will only make the series going forward more compelling and unexpected.
I have two main issues with The Young Elites:
First, I think the character of Raffaele was a somewhat unnecessary character. His mentoring of Adelina was important, as was his friendship with Enzo, but he also served an expository function that made some revelations in the book seem too easy. Rather than discover the emotions that Adelina’s magic aligned with, the series simply told us from the start. I think it would have been more powerful to discover this through her actions and experiences instead.
Secondly, we were repeatedly told that Adelina was dark and ambitious (and extension of my first complaint), but very little of what we were shown of her in the book really indicates this. Yes, she made a few questionable choices, but no more so than other characters, including those whose emotions were aligned with “joy” and other more positive emotions. It feels as though the book is trying to convince us that she has darkness within, but mostly fails in the attempt.
That being said, the characters were dynamic, the world believable, and the power-struggle engrossing. I will definitely be reading book two when it comes out.
Most recent customer reviews
O.M.G this book was marvelous, twisted, dark, and a wonderful addition to all things Marie Lu.Read more