Review: Chosen by O.M. Faure (The Cassandra Programme #1)

RATING: ★★

When Olivia and DeAnn are recruited into a secretive organisation, they had no idea they’d accidentally find themselves on a field mission. There’s Olivia, a British lawyer trying to start a family with her less than enthusiastic boyfriend. She’s trying to get her happily-ever-after but it’s not working. So, hoping for change, she tries for a job with the mysterious Cassandra Programme.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, DeAnn has everything a woman could want: a prestigious career, a successful life. Yet, she still feels hollow. Searching for something new, she also applies for the Cassandra Programme. Unprepared and unqualified, Chosen follows the narrative of these two women rising up to a challenge they never thought they’d find themselves in. The first book in The Beautiful Ones trilogy, it’s a novel of adventure with two kick-ass relatable heroines uncovering secrets of a world that is overpopulated with depleted resources, all while finding a way to survive.

I hated this book. I was sucked in by the beautiful and extremely bad-ass cover. But that’s where the brilliance of this novel stops. It’s bland, boring, almost useless in its narrative and, sadly enough, put me into a book slump.

Chosen‘s narrative form jumps back and forth between the two main characters. While this is often a good narrative technique to give equal time to each character so that we get to know them on a more personal level, with this book it felt disjointed. These characters are developed in an underdeveloped world. We are learning as to what has happened as the character’s themselves progress and learn but by the end of the book, we are still asking questions. Well, actually, by the end of the book, I had no idea what I had read for the past 300 or so pages. And frankly, by the end, I didn’t really care to learn as it took WAY too long to get to any depth. If you can say there is depth at all.

The book can also be split into two distinctive parts: the first where we are introduced to the characters and their backstory and their mission (a mission that was very minimally described). Then we shift toward a more social and political commentary that, in my opinion, felt out of place and forced. The beginning is useless, the middle is horribly rushed and the final part makes no sense, contradictory at best. I always feel cheated and disappointed when an author thinks it is okay to present the first novel of a trilogy as an almost ‘setup’. This is exactly what Chosen is and it didn’t work because I don’t feel set up to read the next book. If anything, I feel set up to abandon the series altogether.

I do, however, love the cover. It is very cool and was primarily the deciding factor that made me pick up this book. However, that is about the best I can say. Chosen ends abruptly on a flight to wherever it is they are going, because I still don’t know, finishing with “if you loved this, read the next book!”. I will not be reading the next book. Chosen put me in a book slump I only hope to get out of, despite the hopes I had for a brilliant sci-fi thriller. I can only hope the others in the trilogy pick up and redeem the first for those who enjoyed this book.

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