Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin
Genre: Fantasy / Contemporary
Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice—catastrophic events known as Drains—leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.
After the Dark One fell, the world went back to normal . . . for everyone but them. After all, what do you do when you’re the most famous people on Earth, your only education was in magical destruction, and your purpose in life is now fulfilled?
Of the five, Sloane has had the hardest time adjusting. Everyone else blames the PTSD—and her huge attitude problem—but really, she’s hiding secrets from them . . . secrets that keep her tied to the past and alienate her from the only four people in the world who understand her.
On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold—bigger than the world itself.
And this time, fighting back might take more than Sloane has to give.
From 2004 until 2010, the world was in chaos & being terrorized by a mysterious villain known as the Dark Lord. A prophecy foretold (5) Chosen Ones; teenagers who will defeat the Dark One and save the world. They spent their formative years in relative isolation, training and fighting for their lives, and experiencing a lot of real trauma like the loss of their brothers and fathers. It took finding ancient weapons (in Sloane's case Kochei's Needle) to finally win the day. The (5) may have defeated the Dark One and saved the world, but some of them are barely keeping it together.
It's fair to say that the only (2) who seem normal, are team leader Matthew Weekes, and Esther Park who cultivated fame with her Insta! app. Albert Summers and Ines Mejia are tired of the constant celebrity status and have all but shuttered themselves off from the world. Sloane has to look at her life and the fact that the Dark One took an special interest in her, going as far as kidnapping her and making her choose who lives or who dies. Sloane and Matthew have been together for 10 years, but they're not exactly living the good life.
After one of the 5 dies too soon, she, Matthew, & Esther find themselves thrown into an alternate realm called Cyrielle where they once again are urged to help fight against this realms dark villain. The Drain is here which means the Dark One is very much still alive and not dead as the (5) thought for 10 years. Even though Sloane has a strong affinity for magic, she also remembers that her powers cost the lives of dozens of innocents. She doesn't take too kindly to Aelia or Nero who basically kidnapped them and brought her here. She also finds that fate has grabbed Sloane by the throat and won't let go anytime soon.
Chosen Ones examines the humanity behind heroism. It opens the back door and asks the reader to question what being a hero costs in a world that is shockingly similar to our own, but with a magical twist. Newspaper clippings, government documents, and other extracts break up chapters to share information that Sloane, the main character, couldn't provide without being too expository. I'm not sure why a second book is necessary, but apparently this series is far from over. There are some tricky surprises at the end of this book, so, maybe I'll read the sequel as well.