We begin with the pending execution of 16 year old Adelina. Sounds promising right – in a dystopian, Shakespearean, Europe a ‘la 1400s and torture….sadly, this story fizzled for me.
After an illness, there’s a small group of Malfettos who have grotesque scars, but amazing powers. The Reaper, Magiano, The Wind Walker, and The Alchemist are The Young Elites. They are fighting for survival against the Inquisitor. Of course Adelina is rescued by them and in an X-men sort of way, learns about this group of Elites and learns about her personal powers. Together – they fight injustice, try to help the innocent….. wait, I’ve been watching too much of the Avengers. But they form a group surrounded by the Royal Malfetto-inflicted Prince Enzo (see why it’s Shakespearean?)
With guilt of her dead mother and abandoned sister, Adelina doesn’t know whether she should trust the world she finds herself or should run on her own. She begins training with the Young Elites, but soon after she feels secure in her new surroundings, something must shake that up. In this case, it’s the Queen’s evil (self-hating Malfetto) Teren who has kidnapped Adelina’s sister and is holding her hostage. Only Adelina’s divulging secrets of the Young Elites will save her sister.
This was a mix of Mortal Instruments and Game of Thrones to me, maybe that’s why I couldn’t get totally into it. I kept visualizing the Queen as Cersei and Adelina as Clary, but neither female is as strong as the woman each reminded me of. The story line finally picks up when Adelina is no longer able to keep both sides thinking she is true to them and thankfully, action begins. I’m not surprised it needs to be a series since it began so slowly. Truth be told, I wasn’t impressed with the Legend series either so maybe Marie Lu and I just aren’t meant to have an author-reader relationship.
Still, the teens will dig it, especially those that liked Mortal Instruments and that like tales of Royalty with a little Shakespearean murder.