The Young Elites (Young Elites #1)
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites. Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
Where do I start with this book? First of all, I still don't know whether Adelina is a hero or villain. And you know what? I DON'T CARE! Due to a childhood fever, she is one of many children who were left with strange markings and unusual powers. Adelina doesn't discover her powers until she runs away from her father and accidentally kills him. Oops! But it's okay because he was awful. Truly, truly awful. So Adelina discovers other Young Elites with similar powers. Adelina struggles with her passion and ambition and fear. All of her emotions join together and she feeds off them to create these powerful illusions. I loved and hated her at different times. Is she supposed to be a villain? I think she is, but I love her. Have I mentioned that already? She does bad things, but she only does them when she is backed into a corner. I know she is struggling with the darkness, but she is trying to hard. seems to I kind of love people with flaws and Adelina is that for sure. Adelina makes some stupid mistakes and a few of them are caused by the darkness inside of her. I know she wanted to be good so bad, but every single person who showed her kindness wanted something in return. And then there is Teren. He is supposed to be a villain too, right? Yeah, there was no doubt about that, but is it weird that I loved him too? I love villains! Enzo was a hero and was super dark and mysterious. And I love, love, love all these characters that Marie Lu has created. Really, I love the complexities and the depth and the flaws and ugh . . . so much love!! There was romance, but it wasn't over the top or central to the storyline, which I appreciated. The ending was INSANE!! It was epic and heartbreaking and completely unexpected. Marie Lu is a master of the fantasy genre and should do this all the time. I know some reviewers thought the pacing was a bit slow at certain parts and maybe that's true. But this is the first in a series and I have no doubt the next one will be incredible. I trust Marie Lu because I read her Legend series and I loved it. I don't know where she's going with this one, but I know that I am coming along for the ride!
The Rose Society (Young Elites #2)
Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?
I was really worried that this sequel wouldn't quite live up to the first one. I should not have been worried. This book is so much darker than the first one and I LOVE that. I loved Adelina in the first book and I love her even more in this one. Adelina and her sister, Violetta, are on the run to try to find other Young Elites to join her. The goal is to get revenge on all the Inquisitors who tried to kill her and Teren and to overgrow the Queen.
Adelina's powers are starting to run out of control. Adelina is controlled by ambition and passion and pure hate. She just wants to hurt everyone as much as they have hurt her, including her old friends from the Dagger Society. In the first book, it seemed like despite her feelings, she only killed when she was threatened or by accident. That is not the case here. She doesn't hesitate to lash out when she needs to and even when she doesn't. There were so many times when I wanted to hate Adelina. I really did. But I couldn't. Despite all the awful things she did, I just couldn't help but feel sympathetic towards her. The new characters added here are just icing on the already delicious cake. Magiano is a new Elite who has awesome powers and starts to develop feelings for Adelina. Magiano seems to accept Adelina's need for revenge and he has his own desires as well, He isn't going to drop her when her powers get to be too much (I'm looking at you, Daggers). The problem is that he also brings a certain amount of lightness to Adelina, lightness that she is not ready for. Adelina likes the darkness; she craves it so anything that distracts her from what she needs to do is a no go for her. This even includes her sister Violetta, to a certain extent. We see much more of Violetta in this book and I loved her character as well. She was trying like crazy to get Adelina to see logic and to stay in control of her powers, but she is just no match for her. And I am pretty sure Violetta is terrified of her, but who wouldn't be? I was kind of hoping for the moment when Raffaele and the other Daggers realize they shouldn't have let Adelina go. It seems like they are working towards the same goal in this one . . . they all want to overthrow the Queen and they all want to stop the mistreatment of the malfettos. I get that Adelina is dark and all, but come on, she really, really needs the Daggers to balance her out and keep her from getting all crazy. Then again, maybe it's better that they don't tale her back. It's much better for Adelina's character and it is just more fun if she continues on her dark path. There were so man twists and turns and man, that ending . . . crazy!! Everything led up to this perfect confrontation between Adelina's Rose Society and the Daggers and the Queen and Teren. The whole book was a nonstop action fest, but that confrontation was everything I hoped it would be. It didn't end on a crazy huge cliffhanger, but I seriously need the next book RIGHT NOW!!
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy both books in this series! Marie Lu is amazing!