Choice Words About Chosen Ones

chosen onesWell, this was a little bit disappointing. When I first heard the concept, I was psyched: I loved the idea of chosen ones in their post-saving-the-world days. It was a great idea and I was hearing promising things. And I had high hopes as I flew through the initial pages… yet sadly that fell a little flat by the end.

When the book first got going, I thought wow Veronica Roth has really matured from her Divergent days. We were given some articles to hint at characters and give us a clue about the backstory. I especially liked how these snapshots contrasted the protagonist’s actual perception and issues with PTSD. I thought it drew on the idea of trauma and its consequences really well.

But then that kind of disappeared into thin air. The story began to be about the death of one of the Chosen Ones and stopped trying to detangle the concept of life after heroics. It just dragged through a mystery and adventure that I couldn’t bring myself to care about. I was surprised (and a little let down) to find it was more about defeating a Big Bad than anything else. It just felt somewhat generic and the reveals were underwhelming.

Not only was I disappointed with the direction of the plot, I also didn’t care for the characters. Matt didn’t have much depth. Nor did the other male lead (whose name I’ve forgotten). And for all Sloan’s prickliness, she was pretty flat. I never found her likeable enough to get invested in her struggles. I also felt like the structure of “oh they saved the day before” only served to make me feel like I’d missed all the good bits in their development.

So, no, I’m not going to leap off a roof and jump on the hype train for this one. It wasn’t nearly as interesting as I thought it would be and it certainly wasn’t memorable (which hopefully explains all the gaps in my review 😉)

Rating: 2½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana 

So, have you read this? What did you think of it? Did you like it more than me? Let me know in the comments!

21 thoughts on “Choice Words About Chosen Ones

  1. The concept of divergent didn’t attract me, so I don’t care much about its sequel either. The trope gets a little over-exploited, but seems to translate into commercial success. Just as the female (colored, bisexual) lawyer/detective in other fiction genres.

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  2. I’d heard of this one, but I’ve been waiting to consider it until after I read some reviews. (I enjoyed Divergent book one, but the rest of the series made me leery of Roth’s work.) I hadn’t even heard what the concept was. Pity that it didn’t work for you, because I think the concept is great!

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    1. Yeah I felt the same way after divergent- I just didn’t have any desire to pick up her other books after the direction that series went. But I did like the concept for this one and was hearing good things, so thought it was worth a shot when it turned up in my library… unfortunately it just wasn’t for me


  3. I’ve never read Roth’s uber-popular YA series, neither have I read anything else by her, because none of those blurbs called to me. Now, I had never heard of this one before, but judging from the synopsis, it sounds so exciting…except it isn’t? Argh. The premise is so neat. It sounds like your average case of great idea, poor execution…

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  4. Sorry this didn’t work for you. I remember being excited about the concept when I heard about this too, but honestly I can’t say I’m shocked that she didn’t really stick to it. Super conceptual books like that must be hard to write. Going plot driven is way easier and more fun.

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  5. Awe, dang! I think I would have loved a book that was just a slow exploration of the mental state of the prior Chosen Ones rather than a new added mystery. I never like those. As you said, they just make it super generic, when it could have been a character driven story instead of a plot driven one .. that sounds so disappointing.

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