3 out of 4 stars
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Arielle has only ever known life as a commoner bound to serve the Elites. She has no memories of her life before she was forced into this lifelong servitude. Ever since The Old War and the resulting nuclear fallout, The Founding Family established a new nation of Elites, Sub-Elites, and commoners.
Unlike the other commoners, Arielle is special. She was born with the power to heal. Against her will, Arielle’s purpose has been to serve the Elites who visit The Holly-Oaks Centre of Beauty and Wellness, with her ability to keep them young and healthy. Arielle’s existence is limited to the confines of the beauty centre, and as such, she is unaware of others like her in the outside world. Known as magi, these individuals are born with the ability to manipulate the elements, including the earth, wind, water, and fire.
Arielle’s world is suddenly turned on its head the day her only friend at the beauty centre is taken from her. Shortly after that, she escapes the centre and meets The Assassins - a team on a mission for a rebel group known as The Underground, who seek to dismantle the Elites in power. Unbeknownst to the group, a deadlier enemy is about to rise to power - one determined to form a new human race with the DNA of those with special abilities like Arielle.
Free at last, Arielle discovers a world different from what she has known her whole life. She also discovers something else, something much darker, something threatening to destroy those she has come to hold dear; healing isn't the only thing she’s capable of doing.
Elite Nation by H. A. Rockley is a fast-paced and captivating novel set in a future dystopia, the result of a disastrous nuclear fallout. The story picks up right from the first page, with a pace that gradually gathers momentum as the plot progresses. There are adequate plot twists to maintain a steady suspense level, and the concise writing, richly detailed scenes, and well-developed characters made for an easy entertaining read. What I loved most about the book was how the vivid portrayal of events lent it a certain undeniable cinematic appeal.
On the downside, although the book ended on a tantalizing cliffhanger to make way for a second installment, I would have preferred if a measure of plot resolution had been worked into the story. However, this is a matter of preference and does not necessarily detract from the quality of the book.
There were a few editing issues that prevent me from awarding Elite Nation the maximum rating - mostly grammatical and typographical errors. These can be easily rectified with another round of careful editing. I rate Elite Nation 3 out of 4 stars. This book is suitable for readers of all ages, especially youngsters who enjoy action-packed futuristic science fiction.
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