The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
Synopsis: 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 she’s gained.
When a new danger appears, Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds, putting not only herself at risk, but every Elite. In order to 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.
-Spoiler free review-
So. The Midnight Star. I don’t know what it is about trilogies, but they can’t seem to end in a way I enjoy. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Just like the previous two books, the illusions were amazing. The dynamic of the illusionary world versus the real world is really interesting, and the line between the two was always blurred. I can’t fault the way Marie Lu writes. The pacing was much better than in The Rose Society, I don’t think there was a moment when I wasn’t devouring each page, which is definitely something I look for in a book.
The character relationships were bound to be tense after all that happened in the previous two books, but the family dynamic with the Daggers, and even between Adelina and Violetta, was great. A strong family dynamic isn’t something you see very often in YA, or at least in the books I have read. It’s a nice change from the norm.
The only relationship I found to be… strange was the romantic one. I felt like it was rendered irrelevant by the end of the book due to a lack of development, and I couldn’t get behind it because it felt incredibly one-sided. I don’t think it was entirely necessary to even include a romantic subplot because of the way it ended. It made it seem pointless and a waste of page-time.
Since I’m avoiding the topic, let’s talk about that ending.
The absolutely wonderful darkness that I really love about Adelina’s character was intense, just like it was in the other two books. Having an anti-hero as the main character is such an interesting premise, but unfortunately I don’t think the ending fulfilled the ‘hype’, or promise, of evilness.
Not to spoil anything, but I was disappointed that the ending wasn’t as crazy as I expected. The ending used a trope that I have since realised I hate, but what can you do. It seems to me that a lot of trilogies (or series in general actually) use this trope, which is so strange, as if authors are failing to come up with original endings. I’m making the ending sound worse than it was. It really is a subjective thing. I was totally hyped up for a completely different ending to the one we got, so I was more like “ugh” than “OMFG WHAT AN AWFUL ENDING”.
Despite all that I’ve said, I still think The Young Elites is a trilogy worth reading. The writing style is lovely, and the characters are amazing, especially Adelina. She might be a new favourite of mine. I haven’t quite decided.
p.s. here are my reviews for the two previous books if you want to check them out!
The Young Elites (this review is on my Tumblr, because I only switched to this blog last year)