Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth
April 2020 Houghton Mifflin
* review copy via Netgalley, thank you!
Four stars from me!
Description:"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."
Not having read Veronica Roth's popular Divergent series I was not entirely sure what to expect from this 'adult fantasy'. It appears that several authors are attempting to break out from their Young Adult niche (Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo) and I'm not sure why. This latest novel from Roth doesn't feel any different than other YA Fantasy novels so I don't get it. This character subset is older than the normal so that may be it.
The novel opens up post-catastrophe so instead of watching people save the world from imminent disaster we are entering when Sloane and her friends (chosen ones) are doing publicity promos and deciding whether or not to get married and have a normal life. This was an unexpected plot point as we get to know the characters and how they are handling fame after saving the world. Turns out they soon find out that they may not have saved the world so they soon have to re-group and figure out how to really really really kill the Dark One this time.
I loved the snarky realistic character of Sloane probably because she was kinda sick of everyone as a whole and because she knew that the whole save the world thing was just a temporary band-aid. She doesn't change the characteristics of being a jerky kind of person throughout the book and I loved her for that, too. I can see where some readers would be turned off by Sloane's woe is me I hate you all tone so keep that in mind if you decide to read this.
There were a lot of scientific meanderings in this story -- and some cuss words, keeping the adult thing worthwhile maybe -- but I was able to catch most of it and grasp where we were heading. There were newspaper articles that started off chapters which were a bit long and annoying still I was pleasantly surprised with this novel after seeing some mixed reviews. I haven't read Hunger Games that this is similar to so this was a new to me style of story and really enjoyed it. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment from Roth.