First off, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Marie Lu’s Legend series. I liked the first book, not so keen on the second, and then never read the third after hearing spoilers about the ending. However, I’d seen good things about the Young Elites (and also I bought the trilogy for a fiver) so I thought I’d read it.
My thoughts? I’m very confused about how I feel about this book. On the one hand, there were so many things that I loved! And on the other, boredom and disappointment.
To quickly sum up the plot: Adelina accidentally kills someone with strange powers, Adelina is going to be executed, Adelina gets saved by mysterious teens with similar powers, cue “let’s take down the government!”. Think X-Men crossed with a fantasy renaissance Italy.
- villain origin story – there aren’t enough of these around
- setting was interesting – I loved seeing more of the world, especially because it seemed to be based on Italy
- nice mix of powers – some of my favourite parts of the book were seeing the various powers in action
- Rafaelle and Gemma were great characters – I loved reading about Rafaelle (I wish he’d been the main character), and despite being a secondary character, I thought Gemma was great
- plot surprised me – I was genuinely shocked by a couple of things
- Adelina didn’t stand out that much – considering she’s the main character, this was a pretty big problem. Maybe it’s a case of me not connecting to her?
- more darkness please – despite this being a villain origin story, it wasn’t as dark or as villainous as I expected, but I suppose that might come in later books?
- I got a bit bored – too much time was spent training Adelina to use her powers, and it just wasn’t interesting
- the romance – it felt a bit random, and didn’t seem like it was needed (but hey, this is a YA book, so it’s got to have romance in there somewhere, right?)
- I was slightly confused by the setting – I went into the book expecting a dystopian, but got a historical fantasy au (but I did end up liking the setting a lot so this is only a tiny issue which has nothing to do with the actual story)
So this is definitely a case of mixed thoughts. Seeing as I have the rest of the series, I’ll probably get round to reading the rest of the books at some point in the hope that all it improves, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the series.