Welcome to my long, but I like to think a thorough review of the Chosen Ones.
TITLE: Chosen Ones
BY: Veronica Roth
SERIES: The Chosen Ones #1
GENRE: Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy
PUBLICATION: April 7th 2020 by John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I wasn’t really a fan of Veronica Roth’s famous series, Divergent. But when I saw Chosen Ones on Netgalley, I requested for it right away. I didn’t get approved but I bought it once it was out. I really want to read it. First, because the main characters are adults, 20-somethings, and not young adults like in Divergent. Second, because no matter how old and used the “Chosen One” trope is, it’s still one of my favorite tropes to read.
In Chosen Ones, there are five heroes, a.k.a. the Chosen Ones, who as teenagers were chosen, trained and ultimately have defeated the Dark One – yes, that’s what they call their villain. Aside from a couple of articles, the book opens with the Chosen Ones are still famous after ten years and the general populace are still celebrating the defeat of the Dark One. But then, strange events keep happening again, making them doubt if they really defeated the Dark One before. And it’s not helping that one of them suddenly died (not a spoiler because it’s in the blurb). Now, they’re forced to face the same horror they already defeated.
Intriguing concept that made me keep going…
It’s a little hard to get into the story right away. The present and the past colliding in my mind and it takes time before the plot really find the path it’s taking. The past is being told through a series of letters, documents and articles and it took a number of them before I fully understand the present. The present being the main characters dealing with the aftermath of their success at saving the world. That’s why, this book intrigued me right after reading the blurb. Chosen Ones is like a sequel to all those books with Chosen-One trope. Mental Health is a big issue in this book, what with the characters obviously suffering PTSD and other issues. It shows what happens to the Chosen Ones, heroes to the world, after they defeated the villain and the author made it look so realistic.
It took me to an unexpected route…
Out of all the twists I thought will be revealed, I wasn’t expecting the one Chosen Ones has taken. I jump into this book thinking of magic and yes, there is magic and it’s a big part of the reveals, but aside from magic, Chosen Ones leaned strongly to Science. This is Science Fiction, which in retrospect, I should have expected because the blurb definitely hinted this is set in a dystopian world. But when I thought of the Dark One, I thought about all the past fantasy books I’ve read. I ended up liking the reveal about the Dark One though, so that means I love the sci-fi part of the story. The sci-fi part happens very early in the story but it hints the reveals at the end so I’m sorry I can’t say what it is to avoid spoiling the twists. But one thing I can say is that when the sci-fi part happens, it’s when the story gets more interesting.
As for the magic aspect, it’s a new concept but it’s also not. The magic of the Chosen Ones are from some fictional historical objects. The objects kind of become a part of them and they harness their magic. It’s not new because there are also thousands of books that use this concept but I’m so used of characters possessing their magic within then. And I really thought that would be the same for the Chosen Ones.
The characters could be better…
I love the Chosen Ones and I enjoyed reading about them but I can’t say that individually, they rock. No they don’t. I really wished I get to see more from each of them, maybe their own point of views. Well, except Sloane, whose point of view is what used in the whole book (except for the articles and documents). Each of the Chosen Ones deals with their PTSD differently and that affects their roles in the story.
Sloane – one of the Chosen Ones. The public sees her as the unfriendly one. She doesn’t smile and not really good at socializing. She grew up fending for herself and doesn’t really have anyone. She’s defiant and doesn’t care what others thinks about her. She doesn’t trust easily and really, it’s always for valid reasons. She will also do the right thing like knowing the truth even if she ends up hurting someone. She’s been having nightmares of her encounter with the Dark One, which makes her character even more interesting because not everyone who faced the Dark One lives. Anyway, her character growth is astounding. I love her to the end.
Matt – Leader of the Chosen Ones. He is Sloane’s partner for so long. Unlike Sloane, he’s rocking the hero thing. The public sees him as the kindest soul alive and it’s true. It actually infuriates me a bit, but he’s not the kind who will betray anyone, especially Sloane, so I like him. And he’s a good leader who really cares for the Chosen Ones. Though hopefully, in the next book, he shows more depth. Also, I kind of think Sloanne’s a bit harsh to him about their relationship.
Esther- One of the Chosen ones and in charge of the public’s attention. She’s famous in instagram and I really enjoy her antics. And no matter what, she never turns her back on her friends even if they annoy her.
Albie – One of the Chosen Ones and Sloane’s best friend. He’s with Slo when the Dark one kidnapped them.
Inez – Another Chosen One but for some spoilery reason, she only has few appearances throughout the book. And no, she’s not the one who died.
Mox/Micah/Consul/Resurrectionist – I find him the most intriguing character. The Chosen Ones met him halfway through the story. He’s supposed to be strong, really strong. His back story is also the best.
A supposedly fearful villain…
It’s easy to assume that the Dark One is this fearful entity that is capable of total destruction. The documents and articles make sure to plant the fear in the reader’s mind. There are accounts of the Drain, of him shredding flesh from people’s bones while they’re still alive. And yet, when it comes to it, he’s not that grand as I expected him to be. Sure, his evil plan is great and everything but for me, he’s not entirely unforgettable. And that great last battle with him is a bit anti-climactic. It also didn’t take a long time. If not for the flashbacks, that climax will be a short chapter. I just wanted more from him comes the ending.
Speaking of the ending...
I don’t know what to think of the ending because it’s kind of a mess. The world’s a mess and the Chosen Ones lose their control over everything and I get that. But it feels like, what’s happening in the world is separated from what the main characters are up to. Like, ‘OK, we’re not in control of anything here now so let’s just do things for ourselves.’ So it felt like there’s no big stake for the characters in the next book even though there is.
RATING: 3.5 blissful pages with lilies
Chosen Ones has an intriguing concept, likable main characters, interesting set up and strong build up but it’s still lacking at some aspect. So I can only give it 3.5 stars. Still, I’ll surely read the next book because I want to know what will happen to Sloane.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.