Book: The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Date Published: October 7th, 2014
Date Started: October 17th, 2014
Date Finished: October 23, 2014
Other Books Reviewed: Legend
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.
So if you know me really well, you’ll know that my favorite video game of all time is Assassin’s Creed. Its like borderline obsession. I have this thing where every time a game comes out in the franchise, I get a t-shirt for it. No joke, I have like 6 shirts dedicated to Assassin’s Creed. Theres something about being able to dive into history and play someone who has the power to alter history. When I found out that Marie Lu is also a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed, I knew I’d be a great fan. So it was no surprise to me that The Young Elites reminded me of Assassin’s Creed.
This story is about a girl name Adelina. Her country has been marked by a terrible disease that left many dead or physically scarred. And then there are the Young Elites. They have not only been marked physically, but they have also been marked with special powers. But not all those who are marked are treated kindly. They’re treated as abominations, and some wish to rid them of the earth. Adelina’s father treats her like an abomination. And so one day, Adelina discovers that her father is going to get rid of her, and in turn she runs away. But in the process, she ends up killing her father. When she is about to be put to death for her crime, she is rescued by a group of Young Elites called the Dagger Society. It is with this society that Adelina starts to realize her true powers, but the problem is, can she trust them? Or is there really no one in this world she can trust?
Let me get to the part where I explain why I was reminded of Assassin’s Creed. I believe its mostly due to the Renaissance Venice/Italy style setting of the book. The second and third games of the Assassin’s Creed series are set in Italy during the Renaissance. The Young Elites are prone to wearing masks to hide their identities, and so Adelina can hide her missing eye. These masks remind me of the masquerades that were held in Renaissance Italy. Theres even a scene in the games that involves a festival of sorts embracing fantasy, masquerades, etc. Its also the secrecy of the Dagger Society. They work behind the scenes to do what they think is right, but their main means is through sabotage and through killing… just like the secret society of the Assassin’s. But don’t get me wrong, The Young Elites has its own unique features as well that set it apart from other books, and from the game as well.
For one, they have these powers that are governed by elements of the world. You can feel the attachment to nature, bending the elements to their will. The Young Elites are extraordinary when they use their powers.
I think what my favorite part of this book was the characters themselves. I’ve been noticing that theres been a big trend in Antiheroes lately, and I absolutely love this. Not all heroes are perfect and flawless. Adelina has a dark side that governs her powers, but I think that all the Young Elites do. I think this is due to how they have been treated all their lives, as outcasts who should be put in hell. Thats going to create bitterness and fear in a lot of people. I also loved that all these characters didn’t see eye to eye. They argued a lot about how to go about defending their cause, and I think thats a normal thing, and seems to be a bit more realistic to me than a bunch of people who all blindly follow one cause.
I believe this book is a really strong start to a series. I’m intrigued, and I’ve been left wanting more. This book has a lot of action, a good romance plot, and a darkness that you want to entertain. If you love video games, I also recommend this book to you.
One word of advice when you’re reading this book: Make sure you read the quotes at the top of each chapter! They have some really important plot points in them!