Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Number of Pages: 421
Synopsis on the Cover:
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 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.
Stars from Goodreads– 3.7
My Overall Recommendation– Weird but interesting, I could get behind people reading this
Other books by the same author- The Divergent Series, Carve the Mark Series, The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future
What is it about?
A group of teenagers saved the world and fulfilled their magical destiny, and a couple of weird plot twists later, a few of them get to do it again.
The Good, The Bad, and the Magical
Good- The writing. Veronica Roth is an incredibly talented wordsmith, and her first foray into adult fantasy is no different. For those of you who have read the Divergent Series, you know exactly what I’m talking about. She can create a world within the structure of a few sentences and have you pleading for more by the end of the first chapter.
Bad- Unlike the Divergent Series, this book stands alone, no sequel or series to follow. But that’s not the problem. I LOVE to be immersed in the world created by a good book, but I also love to get to the meat of the book within a few chapters. This book has an awful lot of build up before you get to the true story. In a sense, I can understand why you need a bit more backstory, less foreshadowing and more of a “big reveal” moment, since there won’t be any follow-up to this book (or at least, not for now). That’s not my cup of tea, usually.
Good- However, once you get to the actual heart of the story (ironically, closer to the middle of the book), the characters, the plot, and the ~magic~ all grab you at once, and pull you through the looking glass with them.
Bad- This book may be categorized as fantasy fiction, but it has a serious genre identity problem. As many of you will come to understand from the books I review, I adore magic. Any and all forms of it. And this book promised to have everything (minus maybe the romantic aspect that I’m such a sucker for). But this book isn’t true ~magical~ fantasy fiction. It’s a very odd mash-up of magic, sci-fi, and superheroes, with the added twist of turning magic into a science. You might need a basic understanding of physics to grasp magical theory in this universe, which I found to be a tad strange.
Good- The scientific principles behind the magical ones are all sound, and Roth does a great job of simply explaining them to the layperson (although I will admit I have an engineering degree, so I might be a bit biased).
Good- I love a strong female character, and Sloane Andrews is a fantastically strong individual. She has her flaws, which make her relatable, but at the same time she grows over the span of the book, and meets characters that she doesn’t have to keep secrets from. Her flaws make her stronger in a weird way.
Through it all, this novel is weird, full of twists and turns, and requires that the reader be more than just a passive audience, as any good book demands. Veronica Roth takes a modern approach to magic, and while it may not be my preference, it’s something I couldn’t put down by the end. If you’re a fan of science fiction, fantasy fiction, superheroes, and/or the whole good versus evil dichotomy, I’d say you found your next kryptonite.