Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Fighting back might take more than Sloane has to give.

The masterful first novel for adults from the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise.

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.


Add to Goodreads.


Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Hardcover (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
William Morrow (HarperCollins)




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

2 – I Will Not be Reading More of this Series – Stars

Chosen Ones is the debut in a new series by Veronica Roth, in the adult genre instead of the Young Adult genre she dominates. I will admit, I fangirled hard for Divergent, with the original cast of characters, whom I rooted for as if they were real to me.

This novel was one of the most difficult for me to read, and not just because of the formatting issue I encountered. Formatting issue was due to the fact that there were three types of texts in the content. News pieces, redacted documents, and what was happening in the now, all of which looked different on my app. I had to zoom in to see the news pieces and the documents, which meant I was zooming in and out every few pages. The oddest part was how the font was embedded, to the point it wouldn't change via my app. The worst part was how this also affected the backlighting, where it wouldn't darken or lighten or even go to my system backlight settings. It was on as bright as my tablet would go. All these poltergeist-like things only happened on this book, as I kept opening others to check to see if it was a glitch. So imagine almost 500 pages of migraine-inducing insanity.

Now onto the content itself. It was awful. Awful. Others may love it, but I surely didn't.

Imagine being dropped into a 10-book series at the final book, but you're not allowed to read the nine books prior (because they don't exist), then at the last bit of the finale, you're thrust into another dimension known as a spin-off...

At the start, Sloane was giving an interview, and I was hoping against hope that when I turned the page, we would be thrust back in time to experience it for real, like a teaser to whet my appetite for more. Nope, still the 10-year anniversary of the Chosen Ones taking out the Dark One. Where we were given snippets and info-dumps of the events that occurred 10 years prior.

Let me tell you, what happened back then was intriguing, only we don't get to experience it, only get a small fraction of it in a confusing swirl of too much information at once.

I understand what Veronica Roth was trying to achieve. The aftermath and how it shaped the characters. They're treated like heroes, celebrating one of the worst experiences any of them would ever survive, and they all have invisible wounds because of it. The celebrating and celebrity was like sticking a finger in a wound and opening it wider to infection.

Sloane is the narrator, and I was able to mostly connect with her, understanding and empathizing with how she disassociated with emotion, distanced herself from everyone, and was generally miserable in nature. I appreciated how accurate that was portrayed. However, the badass angle was so forced, beyond forced. Sloane would have benefited from a first-person narrative to eliminate the coldness we saw, since we couldn't dive deep enough into her head to truly understand or connect with her.

Then there was Matt, who we're told is just the best person on the earth. Good. Sloane goes on and on about how amazing he is, how she believes he was the only Chosen One, and they were just his helpers. Yet again, this was forced. Beyond forced. If a character is good, you feel it from their deeds, you don't need to be told on every page. It came off as arrogant, as if Matt was soaking up the celebrity no differently than being obsessed with Instagram. Making a day of honoring those they lost about signing autographs and being adored by the masses. Matt came off as fake, no matter how many ways the author TOLD me he was selfless and good. Fake and pretentious.

As adults, adults who had seen death and destruction and helped save the world, they would be more mature for their age, which was in the middle to upper 20s. Instead, they sounded vapid, more young adult than the true teens in the author's other series. Their actions were juvenile, immature for those who were so 'good.' I get that the aftermath changed them, which is what we were seeing, but the before would have been more intriguing with deeper emotional impact if we had actually experienced the before.

The pacing was odd, slow and crawling, in a complex story that needed something to speed it up, slowed down more by the way it was written and what was missing.

I adored the Divergent series. It was an easy read, and by easy, I mean I was able to fall into a vivid world with resonating characters, and actually bled emotion with them. Chosen Ones was a struggle, like working to find the enjoyment in it, while wishing it was written differently. It would have been an organic experience to start at the beginning, instead of making it feel as if we're all missing, missing the best parts. The novel is about what the heroes were up to 10 years later, which wasn't much of anything, instead of actually writing the dang story from the beginning, the part we wanted. The characters were shortchanged.

And then came the spinoff portion, where the first 3/4 of the novel was a summary of what wasn't written in those previous books we see snippets about, where we're thrust into another dimension, feel totally different, and I hated that even more.

This reminded me as if the Hunger Games tributes were asked about their lives 10 years later... but we never saw/experienced/read what happened that got us to that point.

There was zero possibility to fall into the story, connect with the characters, when we had to puzzle piece PTSD flashbacks and inner monologuing info-dumps, as if they were a refresher for a series we previously read, only to be truly dumped into a nightmarish LSD trip.

Done. I'm done. I do not and cannot recommend this novel.



Author Bio

VERONICA ROTH is the New York Times best-selling author of Chosen Ones, the short story collection The End and Other Beginnings, the Divergent series, and the Carve the Mark duology. She is also the guest editor of the most recent The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Connect with Veronica Roth

Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


ARC provided by

William Morrow.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided with a free copy of Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones #1) by Veronica Roth to read and review.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are reviewed by a blog admin before being published. We thank you for visiting our blog & leaving a comment.