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 group of citizens chosen to guard the city due to their superior DNA. There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed. Silver would 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 young author.
About the Author
Natasha Ngan was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and spent her childhood in both the UK and Malaysia, where the Chinese side of her family is from. She also spent it living in two other worlds - reality, and her imagination. As an only child, books were her best friends, and though she now has real, physical, human friends, books are still every bit as important to her. Natasha has always (only) wanted to be an author. The Elites is her first novel, and she regularly blogs about her experiences of being a debut author. Outside of writing YA fiction, Natasha works as a freelance social media consultant and runs a fashion and photography blog with her boyfriend Callum.
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Comments about The Elites:
In the city of Neo-Babel there are citizens with superior DNA who guard the people. They are called the Elite. Silver has been in training with the Elite for a few years and is dying for a chance to prove herself to others. To those who thought her Red blood is inferior and those – like her student mentor, Ember- who think Silver is incapable of being one of the Elite. On her very first assignment to help protect the president during a rally, Silver is the one whose lack of punctuality among other things get the president assassinated.
Things start getting weirder with people going missing and an uprising on the horizon. Silver, along with her best friend Butterfly, are on a quest to try to save her family and unravel the secrets that the Elite seem to thrive on.
This is a debut novel with a lot going on. There are plots and sub-plots with a lot of different characters and organizations each with their own agendas. I adored the concept of this book. I can't get enough of feisty heroines who have their own vulnerabilities but ultimately see the bigger picture. Silver is one of these. She's a little naive but trying to be the best warrior she can be. I thought it was interesting how the topic of racism is addressed right throughout the novel. Silver is a Red, a person of Chinese descent, and as such viewed as a lesser person than others even within the Elite structure.
I enjoyed the other students at the Elite academy – in particular, Butterfly. His name may be pretty and delicate but he's strong in his own right and a force to be reckoned with. His relationship with Silver is one of strong friendship with their romance being more subtle and whilst enjoyable, it lacked the sparks and pizzazz that I like between fictional characters. Ember, Cobe, Allum and Taiyo are great supporting character who all add something a little different to the story. I thought the names were especially clever. People like Butterfly and the organization, the Pigeons, are so seemingly weak and childish and yet they hold a lot of power within them.
Brilliant world building and some great characters, The Elite is an interesting urban fantasy novel. The plot is a little slow to warm up but once things get going there's a lot of surprises and action going on. I was surprised to see that it's a standalone because there's so much more about this universe which this book exists to be explored.
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 11+ years old
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st September 2013
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 2.5 x 12.8
Weight (kg): 0.3