My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Because Reading is Better Than Real Life where at the beginning of the month visitors can choose which book I’ll be reading this month. On the first saturday of a month the poll will be up, then on the second saturday of the month I’ll announce the book that won and later that month my review will follow.
This book was chosen through My To-Be Read list as the book I would read and review in September.
It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond their borders.
As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret – the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Once I read the blurb of Elected I knew I had to read it. I don’t read a lot of dystopia’s , but when I do I look for the original ones and Elected certainly did that aspect right. While it follows some common themes of dystopia books, Rori adds a fresh voice to the genre and makes Elected stand out.
Elected focusses on the story of Aloy, a girl who disguises herself as a boy because only males can be the Elected. I like the trope of people have to take on the different gender, it reminds me of Mulan and I loved that movie as a kid. This aspect already had me interested in this book, add to that political unrest, a marriage, some mystery and a dystopia society and Elected had a lot of interesting elements.
While this book is mostly story driven the characters played an important role as well. While I would’ve liked to get to know them better I could sympathize with them all. Aloy and Vienne are in such a unique situation, but I loved how the author handled their relationship. I liked how the author didn’t dance around the sex issue, but still handled it in a way that fit the story without too many details. I really wouldn’t like to be in Aloy her shoes, she has such a difficult task ahead of her and while she tries her best, it is still hard on her. I did like how the main character basically became the leader of a country, it added an unique perspective to the story. I really liked Vienne as well, she almost seemed perfect, although I would’ve liked a bit more insight into her real feelings. Griffin is a great character as well, although I did had some trouble get a good feel for his character. While all the characters where likeable I would’ve liked the time to get to know them better.
While I sympathized with all the characters I didn’t really feel the depths of their emotions or the romance. The romance is a side plot, but it did had important implications for the main plots as well. I liked how it all was handled and how the author made me connect with these characters even without too much focus on them.
What surprised me most about Elected was that instead of going into a future where science and technology are further then here they took the approach backwards. Technology had destroyed the world as we know it and try to stay as far away as possible. Another thing that was remarkable was how East country felt like on big family. There was the situation of the technology faction, but beside that they where still one country. I did had some trouble exactly envisioning where East country was and how big it was. I also thought that some of the Accords where a bit weird, why isolate the countries from each other, then they never know if the others also keep following the Accords. Some of them didn’t seem to make much sense, although I did get the logic behind it all. There was enough world building to give a sense of how the world was now, although there were also some things I would’ve liked to learn more about.
To Conclude: this book was exactly what I hoped it would be, a great dystopia book with an original twist. I liked the situation of a girl disguising as a boy and becoming the leader of the country and the story was done really well and carried the book. The characters where likeable, although sometimes I wished we had time to get to know them better. The world building leaves a lot of questions open, but still managed to sketch a feel of the world. The ending is pretty open and makes me want to read the next book and find out what will happen next!
You can Elected to your to-read list on Goodreads.