Wednesday, February 10, 2010
by Chloe Neill
Dark Elite, book 1
New Girl. New School. Old Evil.
Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.
They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...
First off, let me mention that I love this cover! It's very mysterious and the use of subtle flame-like coloring just adds to the air of dark drama. Great choice by the design team.
I am so glad that this is the first book in a new YA series by Chloe Neill. I am totally hooked on her Chicagoland Vampires series, but that's really a YA/Adult crossover series. This is definitely pure YA.
It's fun to read. There are a lot of elements I really enjoy....one of which is the "Buffy"-like feel. One of the characters mentions "Gossip Girl" in a scene and it's totally true, this series is pretty much "Gossip Girl" meets "Buffy"... and it works!
The setting at the creepy boarding school in Chicago is intriguing, complete with underground tunnels, gothic turrets, gargoyles, and a three foot tall scale model of the entire city built into the floor of a hidden room. Very cool.
This first book also contains a lot of interesting characters. Though readers are drawn immediately to some as the "good guys," many of the characters are excellent blends of good qualities and distinct flaws. Few characters are purely "good." The fact that they seem to have distinct issues makes each more intriguing and I can't wait to read the next one and see how things play out for some of the secondary characters.
The use of dark magic combined with morality issues makes for a compelling premise. Each teen with powers must decide wether to give up their powers at some point or to start sucking the energy from others to keep using it later. The different types of powers were fun to read about too, and I loved when Lily discovers her latent powers. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book when it comes out.