The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Release Date: October 2014
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Plot: 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.
I’m glad I picked this book up.
Marie Lu is such a popular author, and it seems everyone has read at least one of her books. I hoped to follow in everyone’s footsteps, but instead of starting with Lu’s Legend series, The Young Elites seemed more up my street.
Italian-themed assassins with powers? Well, you know I like that sort of thing.
But, instead of falling head over heels with the story, it seemed I liked it just a sensible amount, which isn’t exactly what you want to hear.
What I loved about The Young Elites the most was the main character, Adelina, who’s powers grow stronger through hate and fear. Adelina is different from any protagonist I’ve read before, and while there are other characters from other stories who are nasty and fearful and deadly, they’re villains, who learn from mistakes and grow to being a good person. In The Young Elites, for Adelina to grow, she needs to take hold of that fear and hatred and let it fester. It was very interesting to see a magical system that thrived on Adelina’s ability to cause pain and suffering, and I liked that she was slowly becoming a worse and worse person.
Saying that is weird, but it’s my favourite thing about this book.
The rest of it seemed a little samey from other high fantasy books I’ve read; tournaments, bumbling guards, and ruthless royalty. But I’ll know I’ll carry on with the series, because I’m itching to watch Adelina hopefully become the villain of her own story.