There’s a sharp and jagged disconnect running through the heart of Chosen Ones, and it mimics the often harsh line between stories we tell ourselves about our lives, and the messier process of actually living them ... Roth trades the world Sloane saved, the world we’ve begun to live in, for a parallel one swamped with exposition and a fresh case of mortal peril. All the characters we were starting to care about are put to one side along with Sloane’s relationships with them; new ones are quickly pushed into a prominence that feels unearned, especially after the slow build of the first half of the book ... Sloane is a strong enough character to carry you the whole way, to make you want to keep going with her into that second world and its new cast and come out the other end. But when you do, it’s with the slightly frustrating sense that you might have wanted the story that wasn’t told more than the one you were given: the one offered by the first part with all its ugly complexities, full of Sloane’s drifting and pain, the smirking hunger of the reporters and the public, the smaller but infinitely painful stakes. But even despite the disruption, that world stays with you the whole way through, and makes the final ending land on satisfyingly unsteady ground.
Roth delves deeper into issues previously touched upon in her young adult fiction looking at how these affect characters in their 30’s, inviting an older audience to enjoy her work ... Roth also manages to convey relatable and universal issues all young adults face post-school/university etc. such as confusion, directionless, and loneliness ... As well as Roth’s sensitive character building and development, Chosen Ones also contains in-depth and innovative world building, with particular focus on magic ... A clever device used within Chosen Ones is the use of reports and newspaper cuttings throughout. This breaks up the narrative and offers perspectives other than our protagonists ... Overall, Roth offers the reader transportation to a rich, well thought out, magical world that also deals with more adult themes around mental health, death, and loss. Roth provides a completely new and alternative look at the dark vs. light theme with complex and fantastically developed characters. The storyline weaves throughout many shocking twists and turns right up until the last page, all of which I will omit discussing here so you will be as shocked and enthralled as I was when you read Chosen Ones.
Roth’s latest novel shines on a number of fronts. The prose is fast paced and engaging, and the author has a knack for blending fantasy with elements of reality that are so compelling they almost feel tactile. The characters in Chosen Ones also drive the book forward ... The plot, of course, is the main attraction of the novel, and Roth allows a good deal of suspense to drive the novel forward ... Through a combination of present action and much needed flashbacks, Roth allows the readers to both watch the characters move forward in their current journey and understand their fears and anxieties through context. Though the book takes many dark and serious turns, Roth also finds ways to imbue her trademark humor into the plot through the lovable relationships between its main characters ... seems like not only a great read for Roth’s intended adult audience, but also a relevant choice for many younger readers as well ... In these chronically uncertain times, Roth’s Chosen Ones offers us reassurance that we will make it to the other side of crisis and live to tell the tale.
Veronica Roth’s highly-anticipated first adult novel is here and it’s everything we could’ve hoped for in a fiction debut (and so, so much more) ... diving into Chosen Ones, Roth’s first novel for adults, it’s safe to say that I had pretty high expectations. Expectations that Roth ultimately not only met, but exceeded ... a mix of quite a few fan-favorite genres. It combines magical fantasy with superheros, topping everything off with a touch of political commentary. There’s a lot here for everyone to enjoy, regardless of if you were a fan of Roth’s previous works or had never read anything by her before ... [Roth's] descriptions of buildings, streets, and even walking paths are written with such love and elaborate detail, down to even what the view looks like every step of the way. As someone who lives [in Chicago], it’s easy to follow along where the characters are going and really put myself in their shoes ... While Chicago is very much a real place, the way in which Roth imbues it with magic and darkness feels seamless and natural. Every aspect of the world she builds on top of Chicago fits snugly with the pre-existing architecture and culture, making it feel like there has been magic here all along ... morphs into an almost steampunk fantasy that I’m so glad I didn’t see coming. There’s quite a tonal shift that occurs about a third of the way through that really makes the story start to come alive ... Roth’s use of and rules around magic are incredibly unique, transforming it more into a sort of science and art form rather than some completely unknowable force ... an addictive tale of magic and power, 'What ifs?' and inescapable trauma. Fans of previous Veronica Roth books will recognize and soak up her impeccable world-building, bleeding heart protagonists, and dauntless (ha!) villains ... But, lifelong Veronica Roth fan or not, every person who reads this book will certainly be clamoring for the sequel ... At a time where we could all use a good escape into a fantastical new world and an enthralling story Chosen Ones truly delivers on all levels.
Roth made her name by writing bestselling YA action/adventure novels like the Divergent series, so it makes sense that she can so expertly deconstruct those tropes for adult audiences. There’s a lot of magic and action to make for a propulsive plot, but much more impressive are the character studies as Roth takes recognizable and beloved teen-hero types and explores what might happen to them as adults ... Roth makes a bold entrance to adult fantasy.
... successful ... puts the popular trope of the teenage 'chosen one' under the microscope and delves into both the societal impacts of young shoulders carrying the weight of saving the world and the psychological strains of such a responsibility ... The inclusion of news reports and government documents initially slow the pace, though they help build a complex fantastical world. Roth handles heavy topics, including mental health and racism, with great care, and once the story picks up, readers will be delighted by both the magical adventure and the diverse cast. This is a thoughtful, well-crafted twist on a genre staple.
Roth’s first novel for adults (after the wildly popular Divergent series for teens) is driven by Sloane, a stubbornly unlikable heroine who wears her troubles on her sleeve but doesn’t truly understand her full power until the shocking ending. Those who like twisty power plays and very detailed worldbuilding will appreciate this ... The many fans of Roth’s YA series will be clamoring for her adult debut, which features magic, lots of sarcasm, and a hint of romance.