cover image Chosen Ones

Chosen Ones

Veronica Roth. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-358-16408-1

Roth’s successful adult debut (following the bestselling YA Divergent series) 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. Fifteen years ago, Sloan Andrews was one of the five “Chosen Ones” selected by prophecy to defeat the Dark One, a powerful evil that killed thousands of people. Navigating adult life after the defeat of the Dark One has been a struggle. Sloan is dogged by the media, plagued by PTSD, and encouraged to just get over it by her fellow Chosen One boyfriend. On the 10th anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, one of the five Chosen Ones dies, leading to revelations about the evil they thought they’d defeated and forcing Sloan to face secrets from her past. 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. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary. (Apr.)