REVIEW: The Elites by Natasha Ngan
The Elites is definitely one of my most anticipated reads of the year and so I was extremely nervous to start it. My Twitter profile picture was of the cover, I had told whoever would listen about it and the finished copy was pre-ordered months ago. It’s safe to say that a lot was riding on my enjoyment of this novel.
The Elites are a race of people with superior DNA that means they can’t bleed. When an Elite, Silver, is witness to, and fails to stop, the assassination of the president of Neo-Babel, a chain of events causes her to flee the city with her best friend, Butterfly, and find out what’s on the outside. Secrets will come to the surface and Silver and Butterfly will discover things they never knew about themselves.
I know that people will love The Elites. It has interesting characters, a gripping plot line and some terribly sweet moments. One of the things that set this apart from other novels is its culturally diverse characters. Neo-Babel is supposedly the last place left in the world and so you see people flock there from all parts of the world. The thing that surprised me most was that the people still encountered racial abuse and discrimination, even though they lived in such close proximity to each other and were stuck that way. There was still a, although slightly deformed, class system and it made me think about how people don’t really change. You can take the person out of a place but it’s not going to change anything about them.
The Elites is written in third person which means we got to know a range of different characters throughout the novel. I liked how everything came together cleanly and the conclusion was wrapped up nicely.
I really liked our two main characters, Silver and Butterfly. The latter had a lot of background and very strong characterisation. It’s not often that you see a male lead with a personality that shines brighter than the rest because there’s a lot of focus on female YA characters, but Butterfly stood out and I loved that he had a vulnerable side that felt natural and not forced.
I really enjoyed The Elites and cannot wait to see more from Ngan. It was a refreshing dystopian read and one I will definitely be recommending.