Title: The Midnight Star
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam Son’s Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Synopsis: The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.
There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.
Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.
Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.
Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.
Jill, where the hell have you been? Is what you readers are probably asking. I post a review for Gemina around Labor Day and vanish into thin air until nearly Halloween. I GET IT, okay? OKAY. But it’s alright now, because I’m back and I’m better than ever. I’m thinking a fall update should be in order soon, because clearly y’all have no clue if I’m alive. . .that is unless you follow me on instagram and or twitter. ANYWAY we’re not here to criticize my lack of posting, but a review for the epic ending to the Young Elites trilogy by Miss Marie Lu.
It’s a good thing I drank a whole cup of coffee because trust me I WILL NEED IT. So, strap in because I’ve lots to say before we’re done here.
Although my first intention was to post this review before the published date (Oct. 11) I fell easily behind, so that didn’t work out so well. Fortunately, I shall first post a little spoiler-free section, for the selective few who have not read/finished The Midnight Star just yet. If you haven’t picked it up yet, what are you waiting for???
SPOILER-FREE SECTION: MAY CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM BOOKS PRIOR, SO BEWARE
Look, I’ve always been the eloquent reviewer type
I just used the word eloquent I mean look at how fancy I am but The Midnight Star has brought all kinds of new into my life, so to firstly sum up my thoughts goes as following: dslfgdlllllllllllggmvkvdmf’mamfdopu. Yes, I did slam my keyboard. Yes, that was pretty much my brain on Marie Lu.
Look, I cannot lie and say this whole book was some big epic journey with lots of life lessons to learn and overcoming adversity blah blah blah
I’ll be discussing my issues later on but it was pretty epic overall. Character-wise, I was so glad to read about my favorite people once again and Adelina plus setting-wise, I really missed this medieval-Italian- European-stuff universe more than I thought I did.
But I don’t want to hold you hostage on this review for too long, so here are some things done well: a real, complicated relationship between Adelina + Violetta, the subtle romance between Magiano + Adelina, the complication of Teren, & the shock ending that left me in tears. Things not so done well: rushed ending, rushed deaths, rushed story line.
Basically, my biggest issue with the fact the whole thing just felt. . .rushed. Like, the story didn’t develop as much as it bloomed in a minute and died.
Way to put a damper on things so soon in the review, Jill.
Again, I will be more specific in my spoiler section below, but that’s all I’m going to say beside that TMS was a fantastic finale otherwise + I will miss this universe dearly. ♡
END OF SPOILER-FREE SECTION
*Claps hands together + rubs* Ah yes, the spoiler section. You won’t believe how difficult it is trying to maintain the spoilers just aching to spill out of me. But since I’m heavily caffeinated, I bet this review will be a mess so again, beware.
BEST THINGS ABOUT THE MIDNIGHT STAR: (in no particular order)
- The cover: GOSH this cover is fantastic compared to TYE + TRS (to the point where I might just buy the final edition despite owning the same book twice.)
- Adelina + Violetta’s relationship: Althoug Violetta fled cause she knew Addie was a loca mija (shoutout to my girl @addictiontobooks for being my Spanish influence) and wanted nothing to do with her. But at the same time, Violetta wasn’t hesitant to undo Adelina’s deal + die for her sister instead. The relationship was so rich, so complicated, so real, and I will continue to compliment Lu on tangling such a bittersweet yet fascinating connection between sisters.
- Adelina’s Backlash: Through the last two books, we’ve seen Adelina desperate + hungry for power in revenge to her father, the inquisition, the young elites, basically revenge to anyone under the sun. However, she gets a drip of power and it leaves her dry. The people hate her, her guards despise her, and the rest of the world wants to stop her. Adelina is finally buckling under the realization that as soon as she stepped under the crown, it wasn’t going to be easy, and I love this change in her formerly feverish determination.
- Character Dimension: Everyone loved, everyone hated, everyone lived and died and UGH.
- The writing: HOLY EFF WHY IS MARIE LU SO GOOD. Enough said.
- The subtle romance between Magiano + Adelina: In most YA, the authors write it as iloveyouneverleavemesolongasilive, while that is nice and all, Adelina proves to be a fierce independent protagonist who only sometimes need a little lovin’ from Magiano, and if we’re being honest, their relationship seemed like 80/20 platonic/romantic so I could’ve seen him more as her anchor than her equal. But when the romance was done, it was sparse and it was awesome.
- The mythology story line: I LOVE THE WAY Marie Lu entangled the young elites being a sliver of people between the humans and the gods themselves, I really hadn’t expected that.
- Alternating Perspectives: Reading from Violetta + Magiano felt SO GOOD. Especially after. . .you know.
- Reverse discrimination: When Queen Adelina pushed the regular humans into prejudice + favored the marked? Although she should be preaching equality, I think it was a fascinating look on real life society, not just fictional.
- Redemption: Adelina’s journey from hero to anti-hero to her own villain to a sort of redemption sacrificing herself for Violetta played out super well as the books and their stories intertwined. If I had to pick one, ultimate theme for TYE books, it’d be redemption, because no matter how rough things are, isn’t that something we all hope for in the end?
- The title: Adelina is Magiano’s midnight star, and realizing the place of this quote almost sent me into tears.
The whispers laugh at me. Watch your back, little wolf, they say. Enemies arise from unexpected places. (p. 34)
NOT-SO-GREAT THINGS ABOUT THE MIDNIGHT STAR: (in no particular order)
- Ruuuuuuushed: The story, the ending, the dynamics were ruuuuushed. The whole book could’ve been so much better if we’d gotten a hundred more pages. Even Enzo + Price Tristan dropped dead in a matter of ten pages. This book oddly resembles Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins, simply because even though novel did its best to tie up all loose ends and cut off the story, it just sorta fell flat by being rushed. However, this was practically my only primary issue with TMS.
I smile bitterly. “Let’s not forget who killed her. You destroy all that you touch.”
“Well,” he whispers back, returning my smile. “Then we have much in common.”
WHAT HURT ME IN THE HEART IN THE MIDNIGHT STAR: (in no particular order)
- When the “real Enzo” looked in Adelina’s eyes before he died.
- When Adelina’s victims all gazed upon her in the untouched land.
- Adelina realizing Teren had protected her, and felt at peace when he died.
- Her struggle between living another day with Magiano + giving up her powers, or dying so Violetta can live.
- Oh, Magiano. I will miss all the days we will never have, all the moments we will never share. Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.
I’m not crying you are.
- When Magiano realized Adelina was gone for good.
Nope nope nope.
Honestly, I’m not sure how to end on a high note. Adelina’s dead, my tears are dried, and life goes on. Huh, I like that. Life does go on. And it will for the young elites.
“I am death. And through death, I understand life.”
-Letter from General Eliseo Barsanti to his wife
What were your thoughts on The Midnight Star? How did it stand as a finale?