A review by thenovelmaura
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

adventurous dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This was a hard review to write because I loved the concept of this book but found the execution to be lacking. I'm so glad I read it with the Bad Bitch Book Club fantasy group, because I had a lot to talk about during our discussion. Veronica Roth is also the author of the hit Divergent series, which follows the typical YA chosen one narrative. Because of this, I was excited to see Roth was writing about the aftermath of teens having to save the world. This book dealt heavily with PTSD, trauma, drug use, and suicide, all things you would expect from children (now adults) who were taken from their parents and forced to fight for their lives. In a unique twist, there are five "chosen ones" in this story, since the government sought out any child who fit the criteria of a prophecy about a person could bring down the villain known as the Dark One. I know this sounds terribly dark and depressing, but I was interested in an adult spin on this YA fantasy concept!

Unfortunately, the five chosen ones didn't really pan out because Roth had zero interest in writing about anyone who wasn't Sloane, who was basically described as a white supermodel. Despite the fact that we were given a slate of diverse heroes, including implied Black, Asian, and Latina (yes, implied, because this was never explicitly stated in the text) chosen ones, they were all given reasons to conveniently disappear from the narrative. I don't have a problem with Sloane being the main character, I just don't understand why this attempt at diversity was made when there was no follow-through.

It's hard to talk about the plot without spoilers, but I'll say it was slow at times. However, I was intrigued enough by the world-building that I didn't mind too much when the characters weren't actively progressing the story. I really enjoyed the ending and I think Roth did an excellent job tying all the threads of the narrative into a satisfying conclusion.
Spoiler The way that parallel universes were incorporated into this story and the ways that the events in one universe would influence another was super cool.
While I can't whole-heartedly recommend this book, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been expecting five leads, so hopefully this review will help someone else who's thinking about picking it up!

Expand filter menu Content Warnings