Chosen Ones

Veronica Roth
The first novel written for an adult audience by the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise: five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons--and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice. A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens--Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther--had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the "Chosen One," prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones. Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn't seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It's impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn't moved on; she's adrift--no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One's reign never really ended.


Reviewed: 2020-06-08

The best description for this book/series in 10 words or less:

"PTSD sucks but the world will suck more if evil lives."


I was really unsure about reading this because Roth is known for writing young adult novels rather than adult novels. I honestly liked this so much better than her esteemed Divergent series and I was a megafan when it first came out. I like how Roth aged her writing with her audience. I truly hope she continues even after the duology.

The characters are a really interesting mix and they all have their own unlikeable personalities although you mostly get to see Sloane as the book follows her the entire time. Sloane is really not likable and extremely stubborn who tends to get herself in trouble. Despite all this, I actually liked her for her boldness and her desire/duty to save her friends and the world. Matt is technically the Chosen One and the leader of the pack back in the day. He sticks to take the leadership role that everyone seems fine with, except Sloane at times. He honestly seemed too perfect, but it's quick to find out that he is barely keeping it together himself. Esther comes off as a super bubbly character who is supportive of everyone on the team despite dealing with her mom with cancer. She honestly seems the most put together in the group. Albie is a character I really liked. Despite struggling with PTSD and depression, he was always telling jokes and supporting Sloane in her struggles because they are the most bonded from their experience with the Dark One. I really wish we got to see more of his character. Ines is a character not really seen or talked about too much. She's of Mexican descent who identifies as a lesbian. I also really wish to see more of her character. I believe the book could have definitely been even more interesting if Roth followed the three main characters (Sloane, Matt, and Esther) instead of Sloane. I know she has the skill for it and I was slightly disappointed that she stuck with just Sloane.

Roth touches on so many issues and makes them feel so real with the characters. Everyone in one way or another struggle with PTSD and depression. If you struggle with reading from a depressing character's point of view, I caution you to read this. Sloane struggles deeply with PTSD and deep down you can tell she wants to get help but doubts it will actually help with all that she has dealt with because she is a hero and that's not a typical expertise a counselor would have. Matt also struggles in his own way. He acts like he is put together and dives into all these events and signs autographs to mask his own PTSD. Albie masks his PTSD with drugs.

The relationships are very real, or they felt real to me. There is nothing perfect about them. You can really see Sloane's struggle when she is with Matt. You can tell she cares but she feels too damaged to enjoy the things in life. Plus, Matt doesn't relate to her very well despite how much you can tell he cares for Sloane.

This book is definitely written for millennials. There's a lot of references to technology and social media. Esther, another Chosen One, is all over social media with an Instagram account. She comes off as this bubbly person you would associate with having an Instagram account.

When I heard that this was an adult novel, I was a little wary of the sexual content, but there was very minimal sexual content in it. There is one scene but it isn't too long. These are adults in their mid-twenties after all. If you are bothered by language, you might not want to read this. The f-bomb gets thrown around in some heated situations along with other colorful words in that realm, but I think that makes the book more realistic. When crap hits the fan, most people's decorum drastically changes so I was expecting much worse.

I think it was really interesting to see Top Secret government files. It made me feel somewhat like an insider but still lacked the information I did need in order to understand it all.

Both the twists in the plot and the ending weren't what I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised for the most part. There's no cliff hanger in this novel and there is a second novel coming that follows this one. So my question is: How is she going to continue the story? It just makes sense to end it there because the ending was great so it is making me scratch my head and wonder where she is going with this, but I'll find out in about a year.

There isn't much information as to why they were the Chosen Ones. It doesn't really seem like they had any superpowers. All the book seemed to share was that they were discovered through a prophecy. The only one who seemed any semblance of a superpower was Sloane. I really wish that there was more background on their "superpowers" or whatever that made them so special other than a prophecy. It also makes me wonder who thought it was okay to let five teenagers fight this evil Dark One as well as why follow a prophecy. Maybe a prequel will be in the works, or Roth can make this a trilogy with the Chosen Ones as the middle book. There were times where I was really captivated by the story and others where I wasn't. I think being able to know and reading the Chosen Ones having powers would have really helped.


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