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.
I’m a fan of Roth’s Divergent series – loved it. When I saw she’d written an adult book, I was intrigued. After reading the description, I knew I wanted to read it.
Taking into account the premise of this book – the fantasy aspects, magic, chosen ones, sci-fi elements – I should have loved everything about it. The descriptive writing flows, and I’ve always enjoyed the author’s style. I was on board with the different settings, the struggles the characters endured after what they’d been through and how they were still dealing with depression and PTSD. Some plot twists also came as a surprise.
But I struggled to get through this novel, and I think the biggest obstacles for me were pacing and Sloane being the primary focus. With pacing, I kept feeling like I was on the verge of something big happening, but then it slowed again. This happened several times. I never connected with Sloane, but that connection isn’t always a requirement for me. Her backstory is tragic, and she’s suffered too many losses, but she exhausted me, if that makes sense. Mox is probably my favorite character and has an amazing backstory.
While this one wasn’t for me, I’m still glad I read The Chosen Ones and wouldn’t hesitate to pick up Roth’s next series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.