Author: Tiffany Truitt
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Find On: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Despite the countless number of dystopian books I have read this year, not many have intrigued me with their premise as much as Chosen Ones. The concept of creating artificial beings that are, in a sense, super humans, both fascinates and excites me. A premise like that is enough to encourage me to pick up this book, but, unfortunately, the bar was perhaps set a little too high. Although Chosen Ones was a fairly enjoyable read, it wasn’t as brilliant as I had hoped.
Tess, our main character, is one of the remaining ‘Naturals’ – those left after the effects of the World War – and a teenage girl faced with the responsibility of taking her sister’s place at Templeton. Emma, Tess’s older sister, was, in the eyes of nearly everybody including Tess, foolish enough to fall in love. This resulted in her death while giving birth as Naturals are no longer able to reproduce like they once had. At Templeton, the training facility for new Chosen Ones, Tess begins her work and soon discovers disturbing truths about the labour involved in creating the Chosen Ones. Along the way, she meets James, a Chosen One who stands out for one unexpected imperfection. The scar on his face.
There was a lot of promise for this book and some of the time, it delivered. Tiffany Truitt has an easy to follow writing style and her words set things in motion at a comfortably careful pace. The characters were generally interesting to read about, though perhaps lacking a little depth, and the plot a solid one. What I was waiting for was just a little more. The content present was fairly engaging, but not engaging enough. More often than not, I found myself drifting into day-dream land, only to blink and remember I had a book before me to concentrate on. For instance, the world-building – a crucial aspect of most books in this genre – was monotonously explained. There was a bit too much telling and not enough showing, which was disappointing as the ideas were unique and had the potential to draw more of a response from me.
Having said that, the book did pick up soon and proved to be more of an engaging read. Maybe the issue lay with my initial lack of connection with the main character, because as I began to appreciate her almost emotionless exterior (and the reasons why), I found myself investing more interest in both Tess and the unravelling of the plot around her. There were aspects of this book that I thoroughly appreciated, such as the integration of letters from Tess’s father. This particular feature was superbly handled and cleverly woven into the story in a way which further aided the journey following the storyline. A lot is revealed during these letters and brought a welcomed change from the rest of the writing.
Another aspect I sometimes enjoyed was the romance. Admittedly, there was a slight dusting of, dare I say it, insta-love, and a few clichéd tribulations of forbidden love, but I managed to convince myself to get over the slight moments of frustration I had and actually focus on the appealing parts. It was sweet. It was interesting. There was a good helping of steamy scenes, and James was, for the most part, worthy of the ‘good love interest’ title. Again, I would have liked to see a smidgen more development and a better emphasis on reasons behind the attraction between them so as not to question the validity of their feelings, but I was mostly happy with what was there.
Chosen Ones, although not as astounding as I had hoped it might be, was a generally enjoyable read that stands out for its unique premise. Despite being a little disappointed that this didn’t completely meet my expectations, I am most definitely curious enough to follow the story into the sequel. Hopefully it will be slightly more rewarding to read than book one.
Rating: 3 stars