Wednesday 27 May 2020

Book Review: Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (Fantasy)

Title: Chosen Ones
Author: Veronica Roth
Hougton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 7 April 2020
eBook - EPUB
ARC via NetGalley


A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

The Chosen Ones had a lot of potential. I loved the idea of a post-saving-the-world-tale in which the heroes have to deal with the aftermath of their victory. It's something we don't often see, and I thought it would be interesting to explore that. First off the positives... Sloane is an excellent character. She has a lot of depth and comes across really well -- a character I could get behind and care about. As I said, I also appreciated the premise and the concept fuelling the story. However, something about this book left me struggling. Although pegged as adult, this read like YA at times, in terms of some of the characters' behaviour. Nothing wrong with YA, of course, but that wasn't how this work was marketed. I also found the pacing extremely slow in places. The opening of the book caught my interest and left me eager to see how things would play out. But it devolved into a series of boring training-sessions through the middle section, which saw me skim-reading until, finally, there was a twist in the story and things picked up again. Apparently there will be a sequel; however, the story ended in a fairly conclusive manner, so I am not sure what a second book will have to offer. I guess we'll find out. Overall, I am giving this book three and a half stars. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it as much as I'd hoped I would. I'm glad I read it, it was enjoyable enough, but I wouldn't rave about it.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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