Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me, #3
Release Date: February 4th 2014
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”
With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world…but that’s not all he wants with her.
The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
I have actually really enjoyed this trilogy. The first book wasn’t a strong start to the series, it suffered from a generic dystopian plot and the insta-love between Adam and Juliette didn’t help matters, but the second and third books have gone from strength to strength. In Ignite Me the plot is intense and the characters have come so far that they’re almost unrecognizable from those we met in Shatter Me. It was a solid ending to the trilogy and I’m looking forwards to seeing what Tahereh Mafi comes out with next.
After being shot through the heart by Anderson both the Reestablishment and the remaining rebels from Omega Point believe Juliette is dead. Instead she is hiding inside Sector 45 with Warner, trying to recover after discovering the devastation that happened at Omega Point and planning her next move. With the knowledge that Anderson has Sonya and Sara, and knowing that he did not only to Brendan and Winston but to everyone lost at Omega Point, Juliette can’t let it go and instead starts planning her next move to fight back against Anderson.
But no matter her powers she can’t go it alone. She needs Warner’s help and, what’s more, she needs help from the survivors of Omega Point who are currently lost and hurt, hiding out at Adam’s home. Juliette struggles to convince them to trust Warner because, while they are on board with fighting back, they can’t trust the man who ran the Sector that persecuted them and was indirectly involved with bombing their home and their people.
Juliette refuses to give up on them though. They start to come up with a more solid plan to lure Anderson back to Sector 45 with Sonya and Sara and in the meantime they train, with Juliette trying in vain to navigate the minefield that has become of her relationships with Warner and Adam. Then, when the time is right, they plot to take over Sector 45.
Juliette is such an amazing character. Comparing the Juliette in Ignite Me to the Juliette we first met in Shatter Me they are almost two completely different characters but in all the best ways. After being shot through the heart and, technically, dying Juliette is no longer content to run and hide, and maybe she never was. She has a plan in place to take down Anderson and to take down the Reestablishment starting in their small sector and spreading out over the country.
She is no longer someone who needs another person to lean on. She wants her friends by her side but deep down she knows if needs be she will go on ahead alone. Adam only ever wanted to protect Juliette and because of how she’s changed, the new person she’s become, their relationship suffers. Adam’s whole plan from the beginning was to find somewhere safe for them both to live out their lives hiding from the Reestablishment; he doesn’t want to get involved in another war and risk his younger brother’s life but Juliette is determined to fight for what she believes in. She trains hard, determined to master everything she can about her ability, taking all the help she can get from Kenji and Warner. She has a plan in place and knows it can succeed.
Warner, like Juliette, has had some amazing development throughout the trilogy. He has always been more open with Juliette than with his soldiers but seeing everyone’s shock when he’s with her really shows how much he hid from the world. The soldiers of the Reestablishment are used to seeing Warner as a machine but he shows a lot of vulnerability in Ignite Me, and relies on Juliette to help him put the pieces back together.
The relationship the develops between Warner and Juliette felt a lot more natural than the insta love between Adam and Juliette in the first book. Warner is a little skittish around Juliette. He’s laid his heart bare for her and fears opening himself up again only to be pushed aside again for Adam, or for Juliette to realise she doesn’t feel the same for him. For Juliette, even though they started as friends, there has always been that attraction there. Ignite Me was about so much more than Juliette’s character development, it was about her romantic development as she realises who she is and what she wants from the people in her life.
Kenji remains my favourite secondary character in the series, and maybe my favourite character overall. He is a true friend to Juliette and it’s nice to see a friendship between a boy and a girl in a YA novel knowing it won’t develop into an unrequited love/love triangle (square) situation. Kenji pushes her when they’re training and does more than any other character to help her master her strength and give her the tools she needs to not only protect herself but to take control of her own life. Kenji sees the strength in Juliette that, even at times, she doesn’t see in herself and he is willing to follow her, to fight for her, because of his belief in her.
As much as I have enjoyed this series – and I actually have; while the first book was a weak start the plot, characters, and writing have come a long way and Ignite Me is definitely my favourite of the trilogy – the world-building is the weakest part. The world Shatter Me is set in is a dystopia and the Reestablishment have taken over, however it is only ever touched upon. We know the bare bones of the Reestablishment’s history, very little about their chain of command and how the Sectors actually work. We don’t see much of the world itself either other than little things when Tahereh Mafi touches on the effects it has had on the people living outside of Sector 45 living their lives. It’s the same thing with the abilities Juliette and her friends have; we never find out how they came about and honestly that’s something I would have really liked to know. I just really wish more was made of the setting because it could have made this series even better in my opinion.
Ignite Me is easily my favourite book of the Shatter Me trilogy. I was glued to the pages as the plot took off but, honestly, the character development throughout is what made me enjoy this series so much. The ending of Ignite Me was open, there is still a lot of possibility left for Tahereh Mafi to go back to this world and continue Juliette’s, Warner’s, Adam’s, and Kenji’s stories and I really hope one day she does.
What did you think of Ignite Me? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.