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The Elites

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  599 ratings  ·  135 reviews
‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’

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 citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d ne
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 5th 2013 by Hot Key Books
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Average rating 3.33  · 
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
The key to making a believable dystopian world is giving it some basis in reality. No matter how strange, how new, how incredible this imagined world it, is has to be at the very least, credible, and I felt that the city of Neo-Babel in this book was poorly executed and depicted.

This book was plagued with problems, along with the mess of the a dystopian city that is Neo-Babel, we have an unbelievable system of "Elites" soldiers all of whom are young, ranging from ~10 to a their early 20s, which
Natasha Ngan
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hehe. I am a little biased - I wrote the book after all! But I do hope you enjoy it. It's a dystopian narrative but with a very different and unique setting/culture, and characters I hope you fall in love with as much as I did.

Find out more about The Elites on my author blog -
Neil Richardson
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
'The Elites' is a phenomenal young adult science fiction debut novel from Natasha Ngan. The novel begins with the oppressive dystopian feel of 'Brave New World' as the reader enters Neo-Babel, a society rigidly delineated on genetic lines.

The main character, Silver, is one of the best drawn sympathetic-yet-flawed heroines I've encountered in my long reading experience. Straight away, I found myself thrust into her point of view and wincing with her near misses, rejoicing with her successes, ach
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Elites was probably the book i have been most excited to read this summer. I was a little scared that after all my excitement, when i actually read the book it would be a flop but it didn't. Natasha Ngan seriously delivered and this is one book i will read and re-read, and never get tired of. The world building was perfect, the story-line unique AND THERE WAS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT GUYS! What's not to love?! The Elites is definitely not a novel to be missed: Compelling yet subtle, the book do ...more
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book but have made the mistake of leaving it too long before reviewing so please don't take the short length of this review as a bad sign because it is more due to my rubbish brain than the quality of the book.

In short I thought I was done with dystopian books. I thoughts I couldn't get drawn into yet another dystopian world and yet this book did it for me.

I liked several things about the book. I loved the main characters silver and butterfly. I loved the world that s
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Hmm...turning my thoughts and feels into a coherent review is going to be hard...because if you follow me on Goodreads, you'll see that my updates consisted of the word "FEELS".

I absolutely loved the world in The Elites. I loved how it had so many different cultures together in one city but there was still a form of racism. I felt that this made Neo-Babel very realistic because the world is currently like that. I also loved seeing how all these different cultures were described, and comparing th
Hannah Green
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
After what I considered a (reasonable) break from my favourite genre, a box full of hot key proofs arrived where I work and immediately I leapt upon this book because it sounded perfect for me and, after numerous recent disappointments, I have to say it is one of the best YA dystopians that I have read for a while.

Silver and Butterfly have both been streamed into a specialist training programme due to their DNA which leads them into a career as 'elites'. This leads to a lifetime protecting the c
Peter C
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Based of a preview copy.

Silver and Butterfly are two 'Elites', members of the City of Neo-Babel's higher ruling justice force, chosen at a young age based on the content of their DNA.
The city, the remainder of human society following war and natural disaster, provides for most, a safe and peaceful existence at the cost of enforced social castes and a Big Brother system of tracking.
When Silver's parents are abducted to the outside, both Elites are forced to accept that the perfect ordered lives t
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-physical, 2013

Originally published at Gypsy Reviews

I received an ARC direct from the publisher. Thank you!

I went into The Elites with low expectations and was wowed by it. It might seem like your typical dystopian but underneath it all, there are subtle messages about racism, family, freedom, loyalty and trying to figure out which is the side you want to be on? It has elements that you wouldn’t expect to see from many dystopians as it embraces diversity and managed to pop out such an engaging climax that
Mai is a Happy Bibliophile

"There is a rumor that the Elites don't bleed."

I love the writing.
I love the concept.
I love the subtle love story.
I love the kickass action.
I love Neo-Babel.
I love Butterfly.

Damn. Natasha Ngan is a very gifted author (and so young too! we're of the same age.) Congratulations for such a good read!

I love the world of Neo-Babel that she created where all of the culture we came to know live in one city and despite the differences, racism and a bit of discrimination among the Mainland
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Elites was such an enjoyable debut from Natasha Ngan and one of the first books for a while where I've really been able to immerse myself in the world, characters and plot-line. Ngan has here a novel that has so many cultural aspects and really makes you feel that you are part of her world - Neo-Babel and, despite being set in the future, it tackles issues that are really rooted in today's society.

The way this novel was told was a highlight of the book for me. The multiple point of views we
SJH (A Dream of Books)
'The Elites' is 23 year old Natasha Ngan's first book and is a hugely impressive debut. I'd heard a lot of buzz about it prior to publication so I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy and delve into the incredible world that Natasha has created.

The story takes place against the backdrop of the city of Neo-Babel, which is still standing after the wars and destruction that destroyed everything else around them. It features two unusual characters Silver and Butterfly who are two of The Elites,
Ingrid Jonach
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Elites is a wonderful blend of action, adventure and romance. I barely had time to scratch myself when I picked it up to read and I STILL could not put it down!

This is such a unique story of two teenagers (Silver and Butterfly) who are part of a secret-service-style organisation for futuristic city Neo-Babel. When Silver fails to stop an assassination attempt on the President (epic fail for Silver!) and her parents go missing, she is thrown into what could only be described as a journey of
Phoebe Amoroso
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal read - completely absorbing from the first page!

This book combines beautiful writing with compelling storytelling to create a credible and completely enthralling narrative.

Neo-Babel is an exotic city of the future - a melting pot of cultures - that is completely cut off from the Outside. Its citizens are DNA-tested at birth to see whether they have the genetic make-up to be an Elite, the privileged fighters, rulers and protectors of the city.

But beneath its idyllic surface, it is a
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An exciting and compelling debut from a promising young author. Protagonists Silver and Butterfly are wonderfully crafted characters; thoroughly relatable and have a truly captivating history.

They are two of 'The Elites', people chosen by their superior genetic make-up to be the defenders of Neo-Babel, a city protected and isolated from the Outside. After Silver's parents are abducted and an act of terrorism is committed in Neo-Babel on her watch, she and Butterfly set out to find Silver's pare
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
(its books like this that makes me love working in a book store)

I read this book in almost one sitting, refusing to move from the chair until I knew what happened. That is a rare thing for me- I have not read a book that could do that in a few years.
The world, the characters, everything in this is convincing, as if you could close the book and open your eyes to the world you were reading about. You felt good when the characters fell good, your heart broke when theirs did. You wanted to reach int
Edward Carey
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Elites is a wonderful roller coaster of a book, tender and breathtaking, with a wonderful array of characters, and a real sense of danger. Ngan really involves the reader, plunging them from one drama to the next, you really do not know whether the characters will make it or not. Not all will. As a reader you become very protective.

It also deal with very serious subjects, it’s a really fascinating look into racism and xenophobia, and a wonderful exploration of a distopia hidden as a utopia. It’s
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the best thing I have ever read.

It is lyrical, beautifully developed, emotive and full of passion, great characters and a great plot. The writing is superb and the pace is spot on - fast paced when it needs to be and appropriately slower paced when you need to catch your breath and let your heart rate slow back down.

If there was anywhere I could choose to be right now, it would be in the world of The Elites - the world building was outstanding.

AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ - though be prepared
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A really well written, fast-paced fantasy with exciting twists at every turn. I love fantasy fiction, and as a kid grew up with the Edge Chronicles books by Chris Riddel and Paul Stewart. The brilliant style of writing in The Elites is reminiscent of the Edge Chronicles books but with slightly more adult themes explored. I can highly recommend and am looking forward to more books exploring the world of The Elites and other universes from the creative and eloquent mind of author, Natasha Ngan.

Kate Ormand
Stunning detail and fast-paced action. I really enjoyed this one.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scaned
This is the best book I've read this year. If you like dystopia you must read this book.
Erleen Alvarez
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For more of my reviews, visit Books For YA!

*Thank you Hot Key Books for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

The Elites is a multicultural dystopian world full of nonstop action and shocking revelations. Enter Neo-Babel, a place for everyone but don't be fooled by this seemingly perfect world because underneath the foundation of this city are buried lies.

In a city where all nations live together, DNA became the base of social ranking and status. Those tha
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review of The Elites This review and others can be found on
This review was a real struggle for me to write because The Elites is one of those books that is so good it is a struggle to put your thoughts into words.
From the moment I first heard about this book I knew that I just had to read it. The cover was amazing and the concept had me hooked. Over time my excitement grew and so did my expectations to the point where I actually didn’t think the book co
Serendipity Reviews
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally published on
I feel like I’ve been waiting to read this book for such a long time. Natasha Ngan has been on my radar for quite some time and I was intrigued about this YA fantasy novel that dealt with such adult topics as politics, class segregation and rebellion. I was impressed with how the author managed to make a political situation, so action packed and fast paced.

The author has created an intricate and highly detailed world which must have taken a lo
So, apparently the author of The Elites is only twenty four. God, I am such a slacker!

Anyway... a decent YA debut novel. Post-apocalyptic/dystopian in genre. Interesting in that, although the inhabitants are from all over the world, the city and its culture are Asian. Most of this genre is based in America or occasionally Europe so it's nice to see something that branches out a little. I'm surprised that this isn't getting much attention when it's missing all of the terrible tropes you see in a
Mỹ Khương
Aug 14, 2013 marked it as to-read
Oh God this book looks so freaking cool!!!!! By the way does the authoress have Vietnamese origin? If so then I'd be so thrilled because it's my home country!! Anyway, I really really hope to win this book, fingers crossed.
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
for fans of the Mortal Instruments series
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hidden-gems
This review is also available on my blog:

This book is, as far as I am aware, a stand alone novel. Which was refreshing and welcomed by me as an avid reader of YA. It is a dystopian novel set hundreds of years into the future in a city called Neo-Babel, which is where the main character, Silver, lives with her parents. The book starts with a rather weird prologue which I think I understand, but doesn’t seem to fit into the
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Natasha Ngan is a NYT bestselling author and yoga teacher. She grew up between Malaysia, where the Chinese side of her family is from, and the UK. This multicultural upbringing continues to influence her writing, and she is passionate about bringing diverse stories to teens. Natasha studied Geography at the University of Cambridge before working as a social media consultant and fashion blogger.


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“And what some people don't understand was that bleeding wasn't a sign of weakness; it was a sign of strength. It demonstrated to the world that you were vulnerable and ordinary, but when you wanted something enough, and fought hard for it, you were capable of doing extraordinary things.” 9 likes
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