Spoiler free review!
Once again Marie Lu has created a magical world that I have fallen in love with and want to visit. (Yes, despite it being a little deadly.)
Kenettra is clearly based on renaissance era Italy and it is beautiful. The thing I love most about Lu’s world building is that it’s subtle. She doesn’t bombard you with descriptions and you slowly sink into the book and end up in awe of your surroundings.
I’m not going to waffle on this whole review about the world building in The Young Elites, but it is glorious.
In most books the main character is a good person. They might falter occasionally but to their core they’re a truly good person, but that isn’t the case with Adelina. She has had a hard life since she was marked by the blood fever and she’s aware that she would find it just as easy to be bad as she would to be good. It’s really interesting to watch that internal battle throughout the book.
The secondary characters are all interesting and they all seem to have complicated backgrounds. The character I’m most intrigued by is Raffaele. Like Adelina, he hasn’t had an easy life and I want to know more about him. I also want to give him a hug.
The Young Elites has a fairly complex plot and at times it is a bit overwhelming. I don’t know if that’s intentional or not but I think it’s quite clever because Adelina clearly feels out of her depth at times and the complexity of what’s going on helps the reader feel that.
You’re kept guessing throughout the book and there are a couple of surprises. The pacing is good throughout; it’s fast when it needs to be and slower when you need to take in more information and figure out what’s going on.
While I really enjoyed this book, there’s something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on which stopped it from becoming a favourite of mine. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s just not quite there. Don’t get me wrong it is a great book and is worth a read.
The Young Elites is the first installment in a series and on it’s own it works well. The last few pages begin to set up for the second book and I have no idea when that is coming out which makes me sad because I want to devour this series.
Have you read The Young Elites?