I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
Okay, to be honest, I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would. Marie Lu’s writing is engaging though and I didn’t want to put the book down but there were other elements that didn’t hook me as much. The world building was really well done and I thought the world was interesting and unique. Even though the abilities were mostly things we have seen before like fire, air, affinity with animals & illusions they all kinda felt unique and interesting. There were also some abilities that were more unique and interesting too.
I did like that we got those odd chapters from Enzo & Teren as well that explained a bit more of what was going on in other places.
As for the romance, I didn’t like it in the slightest. Yes, I don’t like romance anyway, but in this book, it felt forced and insta lovey. Lust is one thing but in her head, she kept questioning whether he loved her and they had only known each other for a few weeks or something… Relationships like this are getting really damn boring. However, I do like that it (i hope) won’t continue into the next book. If you have read the book then you know why.
So to start off the plot was rather slow but it did build in the end. However, for some reason, it just felt off to me in the end. I can’t put my finger exactly on why I didn’t enjoy it but there wasn’t a tonne of explanation or reasoning discussed. And also one second nothing was happening and then next minute shit is going on everywhere and you don’t even know what to think. I wouldn’t say the end was action packed either. There were two interesting fight scenes but that was about it.
Okay, so I think my main issue with this book is the main character, Adelina. Yes I know she is kinda meant to be a villain of sorts but I just didn’t like her. She was naive, half the time she acted overconfidently and the other half she was curled in a ball crying… She also just annoyed me. Half the time I was thinking ‘why did you do that?!’ or ‘why didn’t you do that?!’ or ‘what fucking sense is that!?!?’. I just couldn’t connect with her and she was all over the place.
Her father is horrible, moving on. Her sister was nice enough but I feel like we only kinda get a shell of who she is in this book.
Enzo, I don’t even want to talk about. He’s like the male leader of every group in YA books. Attractive, powerful, cunning, secretive, dark and won’t open up until he meets this one person (but he might actually be using her…). I know this book was published in 2014 and maybe that wasn’t seen as much then as it is now but it’s something I’m sick of seeing. Yes sometimes I love these characters, but they can start blending into one.
Raffaele, I couldn’t connect with either. I love that we have some diversity, but something about him just put me off. I know it has something to do with his abilities but the way he was always made out to be seductive and shit were just off-putting. Also, the way Adelina describes his appearance, presence and attractiveness constantly started getting old very quickly.
There was also the other Young Elites, I can’t remember all their nicknames, only their real names which is kinda part of the book. But I did enjoy those characters. Spider, which is the main one I remember wasn’t necessarily enjoyable as he was pretty aggressive all the time. But his reasoning made sense, he just went about it brute force before discussing. There was also another male who’s nickname I can’t remember who we didn’t see much of and kinda only got a very brief overview of his abilities, he wasn’t present too much but I found him interesting so hopefully, we can learn more about him next book.
Overall, I enjoyed the world but not so much the characters and plot. I will still try and continue this series eventually and I’m glad that at least I know (well bloody hope) that the romance is over. Hopefully, we will get a closer look at those other side characters that I liked more than the main three. Especially the sister as she just doesn’t feel fleshed out at the moment.
I did like the epilogue, it made me intrigued for book 2.
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