Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth – REVIEW
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 – levelled cities and claimed thousands of lives. The 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 all 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 everyone . . . 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.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hodderscape.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“Magic beckoned to magic, as it always did.”
This was my first Veronica Roth book and I loved it. Chosen Ones is an adult fantasy rather than the author’s usual YA fare so it deals with more mature themes. Exploring the trope of the chosen one, the author asks what happens after the chosen one has fulfilled their destiny and completed the task allotted to them? Ten years ago, five chosen teenagers defeated the Dark One. Now Sloane, Matthew, Esther, Albie, and Ines must live their lives in the shadow of this huge event. All of them suffer from PTSD and have developed several coping mechanisms to help them endure daily life. My favourite element in the first part was the unique bond between these five people. I loved their understanding, banter, and family dynamic.
“Magic is a mirror. It reflects us back to ourselves, and we may not always like what we see.”
The story is told via Sloane’s POV, a woman with sharp edges and a rather detached personality. Sloane is often dismissed by the media as hostile because she subverts the ideal of the dutiful female but I appreciated how complex she was. I especially liked her friendship with Albie (who I probably identified with the most). Interspersed with Sloane’s chapters is a history of events told via media articles, debriefings, official documents etc. The magic system is treated as an unknown phenomenon and little is understood about it. The chosen ones were each able to wield magic and I enjoyed the incorporation of folklore and myth regarding the instruments of magic.
“I’m tired of being celebrated for the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
I was surprised by the direction part two took as the action moved to a parallel earth, and Sloane, Matthew and Esther find themselves summoned to defeat another Dark One. It’s hard to talk about much from this point on without revealing spoilers but I loved Sloane’s character development on this earth and her newly formed relationships. The ending leaves some room for a sequel but this felt like a standalone to me. Hopefully, it will all make sense when the next book is released. Chosen Ones is an engrossing fantasy with one of my new favourite main characters, a fast-paced plot, and engaging prose.