Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Summary from NetGalley:
Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice—catastrophic events known as Drains—leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.
After the Dark One fell, the world went back to normal . . . for everyone but them. After all, what do you do when you’re the most famous people on Earth, your only education was in magical destruction, and your purpose in life is now fulfilled?
Of the five, Sloane has had the hardest time adjusting. Everyone else blames the PTSD—and her huge attitude problem—but really, she’s hiding secrets from them . . . secrets that keep her tied to the past and alienate her from the only four people in the world who understand her.
On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold—bigger than the world itself.
And this time, fighting back might take more than Sloane has to give.
ARC provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcort via NetGalley for an honest review.
This was an interesting take on the whole ‘chosen one’ plot. It takes place ten years after the defeat of the Dark One, and for at least the start of the book, explored with how the five Chosen Ones dealt with the aftermath of the war. Some of them handled it well, sort of, but others did not. The focus though is all told from Sloane’s point of view. It might have been interesting to hear from the others as well.
Sloane is not exactly a likable character, she is acerbic and edgy and at times down right mean to those around her. She has a really tough time and does not deal with her PTSD very well. At the start of the book she is in a relationship with Matt, the leader of the group. I never did like the two of them together, Matt was just too nice and didn’t seem to get who Sloane really was. But somehow Sloane does start to grow on you. Her outside persona is quite different from what is going on inside. She is quite tough and willing to do what it takes to make things right. We see some of this once she meets Mox and things start to make more sense to her. I really loved Mox and the relationship he developed with Sloane was wonderful, they really got each other.
Because the story is told solely from Sloane’s perspective, we don’t get to know the other characters that well. I especially would have liked to get to know Albie better. What little we get to know him, made him very interesting. Plus he was an awesome friend to Sloane, even when she maybe didn’t deserve it. Esther and Ines would also have been good people to know, although Ester might be a little self-centered, but I think that was how she coped with her life as a Chosen One.
The plot is going to be hard to talk about without spoiling. I will say that it is very fast paced once you get past the first 100 or so pages. There is a twist in the setting that I certainly didn’t see coming and it took a bit to get over the surprise. The twist of who the Dark One really was well done, although I kind of had it figured out way before it was revealed. The ending also had quite the twist, that I didn’t see coming at all. The world building was masterfully done. The magical system in the second half of the book was very different and fascinating.
While I enjoyed this book, it bothered me that it is being touted as a book for adults. There didn’t seem to be anything in this book that I haven’t seen in YA, even the violence was fairly tame compared to some I have read. The only reason I can think of is that the characters are all in their twenties, but so what? I think teens will enjoy this book just as much as her other ones, and I think the message of things not being perfect after you defeat evil is a good one for them to hear. I’m not sure where this series is going, I thought the ending was solid. But I will follow it where ever it goes. I enjoyed the characters and the world and look forward to seeing what will happen next to them.