Monday, January 16, 2017

The Young Elites - Marie Lu

Summary: 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. (Summary and image from

Review: We always hear the story of the hero.  The hero's rise to prominence, the struggles acknowledging their role as hero, the triumph of assuming their role, this is old hat. 

What if, however, our hero was the villain?

I love this exploration of the creation of a villain. Lu has humanized her villain, clearly giving her the ability to choose two paths: one of benevolence or one of revenge, and has crystallized the choices she must make.  Her story asks, how many of us, ever in our lives, have felt like we were being used in a way contrary to how we felt we should behave? How many of us have ever allowed ourselves to choose what may not be the most magnanimous but would certainly make us feel stronger? But the best question left to be answered: how far can one go before one has gone too far?

I'm in agony waiting for my library to get the final book in.  It's been months since the release and they still haven't ordered it.  Argh!

Rating: Four stars

For the Sensitive Reader: Physical abuse of a child by a parent, and allusions to a young teenager being sold into prostitution to settle a debt.

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