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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Point of View: First (Adelina) Third (Teren) and occasionally limited third (Enzo)
Released: October 7, 2014
Predictability: 2 out of 5 (Where 1 is George RR Martin (If the characters make a plan or think about the future I know it isn’t going to go that way.) And 5 is Cinder (where I guessed what was going to happen long before it did, but it was still a great book.)
Source: Penguin’s First to Read program. I’d never gotten a book from them before so I didn’t know how it worked. It’s like a library book, it comes in an adobe digital editions format (which works on everything but my plain kindle) and you have two months to read it.
My Rating: 8/10 Stars
Parental Rating: On the verge of an older YA for violence and prostitution.
Ten years ago a blood fever swept through the kingdom and of the children who survived some emerged ‘marked’. They are called malfettos. A select few malfettos are rumored to have super human powers and are called elites. The lazy king blames malfettos for everything, causing them to be scorned and treated terribly.
Adelina is a malfetto and she’s been abused by her father from a young age, because he blames the decline of his business on her being a malfetto. He’s tried everything from breaking her finger to showing her kindness in an attempt to bring out a power in her, then she might be worth something, but one night he goes too far and he’s not happy at all when her dark powers finally emerge.
Teren is the lead inquisitor and convinced all malfettos are demons, he will do anything in his powers to see them all burn.
Enzo is the leader of the Young Elites, a group of powerful malfettos fighting against the king.
Young Elites is set on a different world in a medieval kingdom. (I thought it was a future dystopian before I read it, but this is so much better.) We learn about the kingdom and a little about another nation, but I want to know more about this world! Like there’s these flying giant manta ray things, what are they? They seem an odd little world building detail to keep mentioning when everything else is a simple medieval kingdom.
Adelina feels more like a villain than a hero. (She’s not an antihero either.) She’s sympathetic, if a bit unlikable, and fierce, but not stupid. She’s a complex character with many sides and a darkness in her heart. I understand why she is the way she is, she’s been abused for years by her father, not only physically but emotionally as well. In Marie Lu’s Legend Day and June had such a similar voice I was worried Adelina would be the same, but she’s nothing like them at all!
At times I questioned Adelina’s sanity (Teren’s certainly nuts) and I hate books with an insane main character, but here it doesn’t hurt the story. I also liked how I could always tell what was real and what wasn’t. (Another pet peeve of mine, I know I have a lot of them.)
I loved the dark atmosphere of this book! I couldn’t put it down and though Young Elites wasn’t what I was expecting I really enjoyed it.
I loved the unique markings the malfettos had. From silver or fiery hair to different colored eyes.
The powers were one of the best parts of the book, they were so cool! The author created an interesting spin on abilities. Usually in these kinds of novels there’s a series of scenes where the character learns how to use their powers and that was sort of done here, but Adelina progressed so quickly that it didn’t slow down the plot in the least.
I like the little quotes and facts about the land at the start of each chapter they really added to the world building.
The characters all had potential, but none of them were developed enough aside from Adelina.
The romance was just okay. I didn’t feel it, but it wasn’t there much so it’s no big.
That ending! (All I can say, sorry.) The next book should be interesting… Though I have no idea what kind of book it will be.
Would I recommend this book? YES! Will I read the next one? OF COURSE!