Title: The Elites
Author: Natasha Ngan
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Romance,
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Expected Publication: September 5, 2013
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension.Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship, The Elites is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.
The Elites is a multicultural dystopian world full of nonstop action and shocking revelations. Enter Neo-Babel, a place for everyone but don't be fooled by this seemingly perfect world because underneath the foundation of this city are buried lies.
In a city where all nations live together, DNA became the base of social ranking and status. Those that have superior and exceptional DNA were called Elites. This people were trained since they were a kid to work for the Council in making Neo-Babel safe and peaceful. And one of them is Silver.
Silver is a junior Elite and still in training. Her first assignment was to guard her station in Hemmington House, right across where the President will be doing his speech and she was determined prove herself to everyone that she's worthy to be called an Elite. But at the day of the parade, something terribly went wrong and it resulted to a series of event that will change not only Silver's life but everyone in Neo-Babel.
Okay, first of all, the world-building of this book was SUPERB. It surprised me how imaginative and detailed it is. It felt like I was watching the story with 3D glasses or like it was projected like a hologram in front of me. The pacing and event sequencing was just right. I like how there were parts where it was fast-paced and some were slow-paced. Those slow-paced moments I'm talking about, were not like the boring and dull moments that other books have. No, not even close. The slow-paced moments of this book are the moments that should be savored, moments that should be cherished by the characters and readers like when the Elites were hanging out at the beach or when Butterfly was with his sister, Emeli. Those moments has a lot of depth and shouldn't be hurried. It's also an intergral part in the character development of each and every characters of this book.
I can easily identify myself with Silver. She's strong, stubborn and brave but still has some vulnerability. It was sad because even if Silver was already an Elite, she wasn't spared from being ostracized by others and bullied by her peers especially her senior Elite, Ember. She was underestimated by everyone because of her enthnicity. You see, she'a Red, a person with Chinese origin, which is the most inferior of all nations based on their DNA. So she was always striving and trying to prove herself. She wanted to be accepted by society and I think, that is an issue everyone can relate to. I'm also glad that she's not alone in her struggles. She has Butterfly with her to anchor her in tough times.
And speaking of Butterfly, I fell in love with him the moment he spread his wings. But life has been tough on him, lately. First, he was deceived and betrayed by the people he trusted and then his family...It was so cruel. It was unbearable to see him in that house and in that state. But I admire him for being rational despite what happened. He was so inspiring. He didn't let the society consume him and didn't let the pain and anger change into something he will soon regret. I love him so hard because of that.
Overall, this was a supercalifragilistic expialidocious read. It's a unique dystopian world with awesome world building, complex characters, nonstop surprises, kick-ass fight scenes and no frustrating cliffhangers because it's stand-alone. Can you find anything like this? No, you can't because this book is in a league of its own. I'm telling you guys, it's worth every penny. I can't recommend this book enough.