Review: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

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Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group 10/7/14
Length: 266
Series: The Young Elites #1

Overview

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.

My Thoughts

I’m so happy that this new series from such a great author is so different than what we had before.  There’s really no sense of time from this one so it’s not classified as dystopian in my mind – which is nice as well.  Based on the overview, you can see that you’re going to get a story that centers around 2 different sides – 3 different people so to speak.  And while that’s a system that’s worked in the past for Ms. Lu – i’m glad that we got it again.

In this story, we are introduced to Adelina when she’s 16 yrs old, and a mulfatto –  a survivor of a disease that scares everyone with it’s after effects.  She’s got outward scars and marks from it, while her younger sister had the same disease and yet doesn’t have any marks.  There’s a thought that some survivors have special powers – and those with powers are known as Young Elites.  Adelina’s father feels that her own redeeming quality would be if she had a power, yet she doesn’t.  It’s not until one night when she’s forced to run away from home that she discovers that she actually does have powers – which results in the murder of her father, and her imprisonment.

That’s where our story crosses the path of the 2 other characters noted above.  Telen is the inquisitor who’s to execute Adelina, and Enzo is the one to swoop in and save her, since he’s actually a Young Elite.  From there on, the story goes down a path of trying to rein in Adelina’s powers and find a way for the other mulfatto’s to be free and survive.

The underlying story here is really nice – we get the coming of age stuff that we usually get in the genre, yet we also get to see how there’s more to life than power.  Adelina develops friendships with some of the Daggers – the members of the Young Elite group that she’s taken in by – and that in itself is a nice story.  While we see that there’s a constant power play with trust among everyone, we see that it’s a dynamic that Adelina craves – almost as much as what her power stems from.

The other nice dynamic is the romance / non romance with Enzo and Rafaelle.  Enzo is the potential interest that has a draw that’s more than just friendship  but we never know what’s going to come of it.  Rafaelle however has a draw that’s from something that’s not tangible, and he’s the constant that Adelina needs.

It’s only when Telen comes into the fold and tries to use Adelina that things go awry.  So where we go for the rest of the story is a nice mix of fantasy, anxiety, angst (romance of course) and curiosity of who’s going to continue on.  True to form, some of the mains that we love throughout the book don’t make it to the end, and i have to say that i’m bummed about one in particular.  It makes me question where the rest of the series will go, but given the sneak peak epilogue, i think that there’s going to be a twist introduced that will keep me excited.  so…what does that mean for me?  i have to wait for book 2 to come out and i don’t know when that will be just yet.  I hope you guys try this one out – its true to form of the great writing that we’ve come to expect and experience from Marie Lu.

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