3.5/5 stars. Chosen Ones is a book that's been on my radar for some time, so when I was asked to review it as part of the pre-release tour for Naturals, I immediately jumped at the chance. And while it did take a while for me to warm up to our main character, and get completely engrossed in the story, I ultimately came away from Chosen Ones quite satisfied, and eager to see what comes next.As with most dystopian books, Chosen Ones tells the tale of a US that's been decimated by a third World War. Instead of one large country, we instead have two separate factions on each of the coasts, with a sort of wasteland where the Midwest once was. Not only is the country suffering under immense poverty, but women have lost the ability to bring forth life. Because humanity is too tired to fight its own battles, scientists have engineered so-called Chosen Ones, who are able to fight without remorse or feeling, making them the perfect killing machines. Tess, our main character, lives on a Compound where the Chosen Ones are engineered, and is forced to work at the actual facility that houses them after her sister's death. It's here that she meets James, and the book really starts to take off."No wonder the council had outlawed books. Stories enabled you to forget your life and your limits. They urged you to reach for a world that was never meant to be yours. There was nothing more dangerous than imagination." - 33%I do want to commend the author on her world-building. The background and history interspersed into the story via Tess' memories and her father's letters really helps the reader figure out what's going on. At times the book was quite frightening, because it's not completely implausible to see something like this eventually occurring in the (hopefully not near) future. I do wish we'd gotten to experience a bit more of the world, but considering that Tess is confined to the compound and Templeton, that's not really feasible. I hope - considering the events at the end of this book - that we WILL get a chance to dive more into the unknown world in the second installment."There's more to this life than what you have settled for. You've crawled so deep inside yourself I wonder if you even know you have a self to save." - 19%The romance between Tess and James was really well done, and I loved how he slowly got Tess out of her shell. She, understandably, pushes people away and keeps herself closed off, because she's lost pretty much everything in her young life and wants to keep herself from the pain of more loss. This makes her a bit difficult to warm up to, as she's not only detached from her surroundings and the people around her, but also the reader. I loved how, the more time she and James spent together, the more it became quite obvious that she needed him to remember her humanity, and he, likewise, needed her to remember that he was more than just a killing machine. Forbidden romance can so easily go wrong, but I'm happy to report that, in this case, it's really done quite perfectly and I enjoyed every moment.While a bit slow to get started, and having a main character that takes a while to warm up to, Chosen Ones is ultimately a solid dystopian book worthy of addition to your shelves. There is a bit of cliffhanger at the end of the book, which nicely sets up the sequel. I can't wait to see what comes next not only for Tess and James, but all the others she cares about as well!***To see more of my reviews, please visit me @ Read and Reviewed!