Published by Hot Key Books on September 5, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’
Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension.
Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.
Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship,The Elites is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.
Guest review from Bec @ Readers in Wonderland
It was about a year or so ago that the cover for The Elites was revealed. It was gorgeous and looked badass. I wanted to read it desperately, so when Jeann offered to give me her ARC to review I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately the expectations I had built while waiting for the chance to read this novel weren’t met by the content in side.
Now the book wasn’t completely terrible. The writing was pretty tolerable, nothing amazing with a lot of clichéd lines, yet not the worst I’ve ever read. I really liked the world and the structure of the society (as in reading about it. It is interesting. There’s no way I’d want to live there). Issues such as racism, poverty, black markets, abuse, a controlling government, and interesting technology were discussed so there was plenty to keep me captivated. Yet none of these interesting components were really explored. That was a big disappointment for me because learning how different worlds work is one of the best parts of my reading experiences. So much more we could have been learnt about the rebels, about Outside, about what disaster was responsible for the creation of Neo-Babel. And Butterfly’s wings! He rarely got to use them when they could have been the most awesome weapon.
All the interesting stuff was put aside for plot development I believe. The action doesn’t take forever to start, and it keeps up a pretty good pace throughout the entire novel. However I did not find a lot of the major twists shocking, in fact I managed to figure a lot of them out really early on. Maybe I’m just too good at guessing plot lines nowadays, or maybe this was just really predictable.
The predictability was not helped by the mediocre action scenes. One would pop up every now and then and they never really impressed me. Characters would run through active battlefields and not get hit by a single bullet. I’d lose track of who was where and what was going on. Then they’d suddenly end and you’d wonder where all that frantic action had gone. These were also scenes were many of the side characters I liked died. The only reason I could see for them dying was to make the reader emotional, but I didn’t have enough of an emotional connection to any of the characters to shed a single tear.
Characters also had crazy mood swings which made them really hard to connect to. They’d be happy on one page and then throwing a tantrum for some strange reason the next. A couple of pages later they’d realise their emotions were out of place or unnecessary, or come to some amazing conclusion and be fine again. I could not keep up. It got a bit ridiculous. I mean, their feelings were justified year, but I’ve never known a person to change between mental states so quickly! (Except me that one time I was thirteen or something and went from happy to pissed to sobbing in the space of five minutes. That was crazy and I have no idea why my body did that and let’s not go there).
These mood swings also made it hard for me to get behind the romance. I got sick of them almost kissing then fighting then not being sure of each other then kissing at some strange time again. What I did like about it was that it was that the romance was built out of a lifelong friendship. I haven’t read about one of those relationships in so long.
The Elites was a case of pretty exterior and mediocre guts. The story was not as badass as I had wanted it to be. While the world was interesting, I thought it wasn’t explored as much as it could have been. Instead the focus was on the predictable plot and underwhelming action. The characters had crazy mood swings I just couldn’t understand and so I had a lot of trouble connecting with them. Overall The Elites wasn’t a terrible book, but it definitely was a little bit of a disappointment.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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