I thought I’d try to read a book out of my genre and chose “The chosen ones” (pun intended xD) I was very surprised to find myself really enjoying this book even though I knew close to nothing about ice skating. I received an ARC of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Let’s get into the good and the bad of it.
The Chosen Ones is a mystery/crime novel that goes inside the scandalous world of olympic figure skating. The story starts with an anonymous message regarding the death of an Olympic ice skater and from there we immerse into the world of ice skating. The book deals with ice skating scandals, cheating, judging issues and more drama. But who is the murder ? Why did he kill ? It’s a mystery crime novel that will keep you hooked.
The best aspect of this story by far is that it’s a crime/mystery novel. I really liked that Genre a few years ago but while reading “The Chosen Ones” I remember why I loved it so much. It keeps you hooked. The suspense and intrigue were engaging, and I have to applaud the author for keeping me sucked into a world I thought I would find boring.
Another extremely strong aspect of this book is the extensive research the author did. If you didn’t know, before Lisa Luciano was was a fiction writer, she covered the sport of ice skating for a major newspaper and a trade magazine. This expertise shines through in this novel. Luciano utilizes what she calls Faction to bring out the corruption that has plagued the sport, even into the Olympic arena. The depth of the corruption is revealed through the story of several fictional aspiring Olympic skaters. The depth of the research is impressive.
What I found really interesting is that the book focuses on the men’s competition starting with the US Nationals leading up to the Olympics. It explores the relationships between the skaters, the skaters and their coaches and their sometimes uneasy relationship with the fans. The reader gets to know the skaters through the eyes of the reporter trying to find out if there is indeed a plot to murder one of them. He is the one determined to stop the murder.
One of the problems I had with this book was the distribution of POV’S. We see the world from the position of different characters too quickly, sometimes in the same paragraph. That’s the first time I read a book that was written this way and it was not a good experience. It honestly just exhausts the reader trying to figure out who we’re listening to and remember how we’re supposed to feel about him or her. The worst effect of this is that we never get connected to any of the characters, so they just come across as platonic characters with few redeeming qualities. Because of that POV problem, I felt no connection to most of the characters, even worse I almost didn’t care for them. Which is a problem because you want to engage the reader and let him feel a lot of different emotions.
To conclude, I enjoyed reading about the scandalous world of ice skating and was impressed by the research done by the author. The murder will keep you hooked and on the edge of your seat. The book read more like a true life account rather than a book of fiction. Because of this my interest definitely fluctuated and I had a really hard time forming a relationship with any of the characters. If you like ice skating you will truly enjoy this book. If you really didn’t know much about it, read this book and you’ll know more than you might want to.
Trigger warnings: foul language, drugs, drinking and violence. sexual relationships (not graphic)