The Midnight Star

The Midnight Star

Title: The Midnight Star

Author: Marie Lu

Series: The Young Elites, #3

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (UK)

Release Date: October 13th 2016


Four Stars

The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from 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 the darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy everything.

When a new danger appears, Adelina must join the Daggers on a perilous quest in order to save herself and preserve her empire. But this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger…

– Blurb courtesy of

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“You cannot harden your heart to the future just because of your past. You cannot use cruelty against yourself to justify cruelty to others.”

Adelina finally has what she’s always wanted, what she fought so hard for and what she pushed away everyone who got too close to her for. She is the Queen of Kenettra, and every day her Inquisition takes another city for her to add to her growing kingdom. Adelina has succeeded in raising the malfetto’s up above everyone else, she’s rewarded those who follow her and punished those who would hurt her, but every night her nightmares never end as her illusions turn on her and start to slowly drive her mad.

The Midnight Star started off really strongly. We follow Adelina as she expands her kingdom, making herself a formidable force before both her enemies and her people. She pushes people away as her illusions whisper of threats hiding around every corner, and she can no longer always tell the difference between reality and illusion. As in the previous two books the strength in the first half of The Midnight Star was in the way Adelina’s character developments.

“We were never meant to exist, Adelina,” he says. “And we will never exist again. But we cannot take the entire world with us.” He meets my gaze. “No matter how it has wronged us.”

However the second half didn’t have that same incredible development and it made the whole book feel rushed. The Young Elites power is slowly killing them, they are children of the Gods and not meant to survive on the Earth for long. When Adelina is betrayed by one of her men and handed over to her enemies, to Raffaele and the remaining members of the Dagger Society, she is forced to make a choice; her ambition and her powers which have raised her to Queen or hers and her sisters lives.

I think the idea and the concept for The Midnight Star was a great one I just think the book itself was too short to make it work. There was a whole new threat for the Young Elites to face and a whole new world to explore, but neither were given the room to grow the same way Adelina’s character has grown throughout the trilogy. Overall I still enjoyed The Midnight Star but this was my least favourite book of the series, and The Young Elites trilogy is my least favourite series by Marie Lu.

…The Characters

“If I’ve learned anything from my past and my present, it’s the power of fear. You can give your subjects all the generosity in the world, and still they will demand more. But those who are afraid don’t fight back. I know this well enough.”

Adelina seems to devolve in this book, after mastering her powers and using them at her whim to get what she wants they’ve turned on her. She’s plagued with illusions she can’t control, and even her closest friends are cause for suspicion as her mind twists innocent actions into something more sinister. However despite this, and despite the never ending nightmares each night, Adelina is still determined to keep her powers and her throne.

“Why do you still want to find her? The whispers taunt me. Why? Why?
It’s a question they ask over and over again. And my answer is always the same. Because I decide when she can leave. Not her.”

Like so much of this series at the heart of The Midnight Star is Adelina’s relationship with her sister Violetta. At the end of The Rose Society Adelina’s illusions pushed the two sisters apart and that divide is still there in The Midnight Star, even in the face of all they are each willing to do for each other. It is the threat to Violetta’s life when the Young Elites powers turn on them that moves Adelina to action, though she still faces an intense internal battle over whether to choose hers and Violetta’s lives or the powers which have given her so much.

“None of us are saints. I have seen your darkness, yes, and know your struggle. I won’t deny it.” He touches my chin with one hand. At this gesture, the whispers seem to settle, pushed away where I can’t hear them. “But you are also passionate and ambitious and loyal. You are a thousand things, mi Adelinetta, not just one. Do not reduce yourself to that.”

The relationship between Adelina and Magiano was another aspect of this book that felt rushed at times. I don’t think Magiano ever got the singular character development he needed in this book, and where in The Rose Society he was a thief out for himself we didn’t see enough of him in this book to get a sense for how his character changed. The romance between  him and Adelina always seemed to be pushed back by Adelina’s illusions, and while I got a sense of her feelings for him I can’t say the same about his feelings for her.

Asides from the relationship between Adelina and her sister the other relationship I loved was the one between Adelina and Raffaele. In The Young Elites it seemed like it was Raffaele turning his back on her that hurt Adelina the most. Raffaele always feared Adelina’s powers, was always wary of her, but there was a lot of sorrow and grief mixed in with that wariness, and despite everything Raffaele did to betray her Adelina can’t forget the boy who was once her friend. There was a lot still between the two of them, and I loved exploring that in this book.

…The Setting

“Like fear and fury. It is energy from another realm, threads from beneath the sur­face, an immortal place never meant to be disturbed. Raffaele trembles.
Something is poisoning the world.”

In the first two books we learnt a little about the Gods and Angels worshipped in the world Marie Lu created for this trilogy, and in The Midnight Star those myths are expanded on. While I thought the myths themselves, and the origins of the Young Elites and their powers, were well written and built upon it was the world that came with those myths that fell flat. I don’t want to say too much, because I’m worried about spoiling this book for those who haven’t read it yet, but while parts of the world building in this book were amazing the parts that mattered the most in my mind, the parts which hadn’t been built up in the first or second books, were lacklustre.

Overall The Midnight Star was a good finale, and there were plenty of things I loved about this book as well (mainly Adelina’s character development which has been incredible throughout this whole series). Unfortunately there were just too many things I’d hoped would be done better, and for the last book in the trilogy The Midnight Star failed to meet my expectations.

What did you think of The Midnight Star? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

34 thoughts on “The Midnight Star

  1. Completely agree with you on everything you mentioned here! Adelina is the heart of this story. The way her character develops is so finely done and I love how she interacts with other characters, whether they be good or bad interactions. I wished Magiano had a larger presence, as he seemed to fade into the background simply for the purpose to assume the role as “Adelina’s one true love.” The book really was too short and many important events and character arcs were rushed because of it. I can’t say that it was a bad ending, but it could have been much, much better! Wonderful review, Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adelina’s character development has been so strong throughout the whole series, and honestly I just wish in this last book the rest of the characters and the plot itself had had the same level of development. I think Magiano was my biggest disappointment in The Midnight Star because I wanted so much more from his character and we never got it.
      Yeah it really needed to be longer to do justice to it. All the potential was there it was just too short to work in one book. Oh I thought it was a great ending, in fact the ending was the best part, but yeah I could have been so much better.
      Thanks so much Azia. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, many if not most of the characters aside from Adelina were neglected quite a bit, especially Magiano (and even a little bit of Raffaelle). The ending was absolutely the best part, even though it was rushed in some places. But I really like the very last few pages, with Magiano chasing the stars so he can follow Adelina ❤ Such a beautiful image!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I feel like after Adelina Raffaele got the best character development but there was still a pretty major divide between the level of focus on Adelina and the level on Raffaele you know?
        Oh it was a beautiful image, and such a sweet ending despite the heartbreak! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a shame to see that you felt this book was a little rushed. Character and plot development definitely need to go hand in hand and it doesn’t sound like it really did with this book? Maybe Lu should hab extended the series a little? Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that is interesting, but I’ve heard from a few people who say they preferred The Young Elites trilogy to the Legend trilogy so you’re definitely not alone. 🙂
      At the moment my favourite is Warcross, is you have that on your to-read list then I’d highly recommend getting around to it ASAP! 😀
      Thanks so much, and yes the ending to this book was the best part, I loved it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I think that if this book had been longer it would have been so much better, the plot would have had more room to develop and it wouldn’t have felt so rushed.
      Oh the ending was so emotional, I couldn’t believe when what happened to Adelina happened and the very last chapter/extract was so beautiful as well. I loved it. 🙂


  3. I’m so sorry to hear this one didn’t meet your expectations! Like your previous review for The Rose Society, I kind of skimmed through this one, in order to avoid potential spoilers. I saw, however, that this is your least favorite series by Marie Lu – would you say Legend is your favorite, then? Or does Warcross has that potential? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah I was definitely left a little disappointed in The Midnight Star, I hope when you get around to this one Marie it’s a different story for you. 🙂
      Oh I think at the moment Warcross is my favourite, I know only one book has been released so far but it’s been an amazing one book. And as long as the other two stay the same level of amazing it’ll be a brilliant series. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review! I completely agree about Magiano! He really deserved more development. I actually thought we’d get more in this book but NOPE. Oh well…
    Overall I thought this was a good ending for the trilogy but I couldn’t help but feel like it could have been…better? Idk. This trilogy had some really strong points (certain characters, certain world-building aspects, certain plot points…and then it had some really weak/rushed/brushed over elements that left me feeling a bit disappointed and wishing we got a bit more)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Angela. 🙂 He had such a strong introduction in The Rose Society, but in this book he seemed to fade into the background and I wanted so much more from him.
      Yeah that’s how I felt, The Rose Society was a great book and it made me want more from this ending, more which I didn’t get in the end. I thought the character development was the strongest part of the whole trilogy, especially in terms of Adelina, but yeah the ending was weak and felt rushed and just not what I’d hoped in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Agree so much with you here. I felt like the opening was done so well, but it fell off the boil a little and I do think it was a bit rushed. To be honest, I still loved the concept and characters, but it could have done with a bit more time. Fantastic review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah there was so much potential in this book, but it maybe could have done with more space to be developed. This was such a short book and you could feel how crammed it was with everything Marie Lu was trying to do in the finale.
      Thanks so much! 😀


  6. Spot on review! The devolvement of Adelina’s character, the unexplored character development of Magiano, and also Adelina’s relationship with Rafaelle! I absolutely agree with all the points that you brought up. This could have been a great series with the promising world building and the first two books but sadly it also turned out to be one of my least favorite series by Marie Lu.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 😀 Yeah Adelina’s development throughout the series has been incredibly strong, and I loved how her relationship with Raffaele changed in this book too. It just seemed like all the other characters/relationships suffered a little in this last book. A shame, especially considering how much I’ve loved Marie Lu’s other books, but she’s still one of my favourite authors for sure. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh no, Beth. Sorry to hear that it didn’t blow you away. The character development sure does sound like it was the strongest part of this book. But a story that just felt rushed while it seemed like it had so much potential? That is indeed sad. At least it wasn’t a completely bad series. It sounds like it was a fantastic trilogy, but it just didn’t have the edge that her other books had for you! Great review as always though. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah this was definitely a shame, especially after how strong the previous book in the trilogy was. I mean, The Midnight Star was still a good story, the character development kept it from being a lower rating for me, but you’re right it was sad how rushed it was because the potential for it to be great was all there.
      Definitely, great series overall but her other books are so much better in my opinion. 🙂
      Thanks so much Lashaan! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great review. I tried reading the book but I wasn’t able to get fully into it. I may try again when I am older but I don’t know. Have a great day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Beth!
    Great review, and thanks for sharing! That’s good to hear that you liked this book overall, although it isn’t one of your favourites by Marie Lu. I also dislike when endings feel rushed, because I am less able to get into the story. I think I will go ahead and finish the Legend series before I decide whether to try this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sophie. 🙂
      Thanks so much, and I’m glad you enjoyed this review as well. Yeah overall a good book but I think I expected more from a book by Marie Lu and the last book of this series. It always sucks when last books are disappointing but I’ve had bigger disappointments with last books in series than I have with this one so not all bad. 🙂
      Ohh, I hope you enjoy the Legend series, and if you do get around to this series too I hope you enjoy this one as well. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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