Chosen Ones is Veronica Roth’s first book written for an adult audience, based in an alternate Earth where five ordinary teens defeated the Dark One 10 years ago.
Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for sending me a copy in return for an honest review.
Ten years ago in an alternate Earth, five Chosen Ones defeated and killed the Dark One. To the world, they are heroes. They are celebrities, with all that entails – interviews, glamorous parties, fans lining up for autographs, and paparazzi. All of them have been hugely impacted by what’s happened and suffer from nightmares, PTSD, alcoholism and drug abuse. But what if the Dark One never really died after all?
I really enjoyed Chosen Ones! This is definitely an adult book – for example, the Drain is horrific. It reminded me of Harry Potter if it was for an adult audience, in a way. I love that this takes a more ‘serious’ look at all of these so-called superheroes and Chosen Ones, and how actually, the things that they go through will seriously impact them and the toll it would have on their mental health. It feels like a breath of fresh air to read a book that thinks about mental health of heroes in this way – though I’m sure there are other authors who have tackled these sorts of topics in a more realistic way, this is the first one that I have read.
The story is told from the perspective of Sloane Andrews. I really liked her. The book begins with one of those sexist interviews that glossy magazines often run, which reminded me of that horrendous Vanity Fair interview with Margot Robbie. I love that Sloane is independent, angry, loyal and fights to find out what the truth is – she doesn’t just accept what others tell her. Many characters in books claim to find it hard to trust others so it was good to see that Sloane really doesn’t – for example, she watches others to see their routine and requested the files on her and the other Chosen Ones.
As they follow Sloane to the alternate world, we also see a lot from Matt and Esther. I really liked them too – they all feel so realistic and vivid. I like that they are all dealing with the stress of the situation in their own ways. But Sloan was definitely my favourite!
Both of the alternate worlds are really interesting, and I enjoyed reading about what was the same and what was different. The book is set in Chicago, which I’ve never visited before, but I imagine that any locals or people familiar with the layout of the city will appreciate the comparisons between our world and the alternate universe more than I did. I love the idea of alternate worlds that run alongside our own so this was particularly enjoyable for me.
I liked the ending, too. It was exciting, tense and dramatic. Part 3 in is full of action while the first two are slower, and I couldn’t put this down.
This was a fantastic read and I really enjoyed it. I am a fan of the Divergent series so I had high hopes and this certainly lived up to it. The world and the alternate history is really interesting and I would have loved to learn more about this and how the world has changed since magic was found. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys more gritty fiction or realism, or anyone who likes independent female main characters.
The blurb for Chosen Ones
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.