The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-fi
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
First Impressions (Cover Design): I like the typography and the use of the dagger in the title. The dark aesthetic definitely fits with the theme of the book. I maybe wish there'd been a little something else, but it's still a compelling design.
My Thoughts: I could not get through this book fast enough, and not in a bad way. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next! I have never read anything by Marie Lu before, but I ended up liking her writing style enough to feel that I should check out her Legends series. I loved The Young Elites - it's my favorite blend of magic and fantasy.
This is a dark novel and Adelina is a force to be reckoned with. After fleeing her home, Adelina is captured by the Inquisition and sentenced to death for being suspected of being a Young Elite. Enzo and the Dagger Society come to her rescue, taking her back to their headquarters. She is trained on how to harness and use her abilities and made a member of the Dagger Society. During this time, it becomes clear that Adelina thrives off fear and the resulting adrenaline, both her own and of those around her. There is a darkness in her that is most definitely unsettling. She is no hero - there are no heroes in The Young Elites, only anti-heroes. You're not really sure who's good and who's bad and that's part of the appeal.
The novel explores the characters thoughts and feelings in great depth, especially Adelina's. Having basically been used and abused her whole life, she's got a lot of feels going on. Rightfully so, of course. I liked that instead of her wanting to rise above it and be a good person, she wants to rise above it and hurt those who have hurt her and those like her. She's a refreshing character because, let's face it, not everyone has unicorn and rainbow thoughts all the time.
Rating: 4/5 stars
You can read other reviews on Goodreads. Also, be sure to check out Marie Lu's Pinterest board for The Young Elites - it gives a great glimpse into her visuals for the trilogy. I can't wait to read The Rose Society soon!