Title: The Midnight Star
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites, #3
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (UK)
Release Date: October 13th 2016
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 goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.