The Midnight Star – The ending that feels detached from the series

The Midnight Star - Marie Lu

Series: The Young Elites #3

Publication date : October 11th, 2015goodreads

Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy

Page Count: 316

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.
(From Goodreads)

Rating: 2.5 stars

The Midnight Star

CW: Death, violence, torture, selfharm, attempted suicide, death of central characters, suicide imagery.

(Spoilers are hidden)

If you’ve read my reviews for both The Young Elites and The Rose society, you know how much I loved those two books, the characters, the concept and the execution. So, you can only imagine how excited I was to pick up the sequel and I kept delaying it because I didn’t want this story to end, and the more I delayed it, the more I got excited for it and looked forward to see how things turn out. If you look at my rating, you can already say that it didn’t not live up to my expectations. Not even close. And in this review I will detail all the ways in which this book was a disappointement to me.

The writing is as stunning as ever, I don’t know if it’s because it’s been quite a few months since I read the other two or because it was one of the few things I could hold on to to finish the book, but I loved it a lot more than in the first two books. Which says a lot because I had already adored the writing in those two. It’s so GUTTING, especially when it’s Adelina’s POV (which is most of the book), with everything happening inside her head, it often sent chills down my back. It was scary to read, which is my favourite thing about this book. How the authors just nails that dark vibe and she does so mainly through the writing.

The plot was my main problem. And as you can gather, it is a big problem. First of all, the first half of the book read really slow and there was no direction to the plot during that whole chunk, I just felt like the story was aimlessly floating, trying to figure out which way to go. And when it finally did pick up, it did so with no build up and the second half of the book felt really rushed. The plot was flimzy and very thin, a lot of things happened to easily without the characters questioning them or facing huge obstacles.

Furthermore, the story shifted completely from the direction the first two books were taking, it felt like we took the same characters and put them in a completely different series and that really threw me off. I was discussing it with a mutual on twitter and we both agreed that it felt like a filler to complete the trilogy rather than a necessary part of it, a lot of things were introduced and resolved within this same book that weren’t even acknowledged, hinted to or foreshadowed in the first two. To put it in fewer words, too many plot points were resolved in the second book and not much was left to this one so there wasn’t much substance to work with.

All of that being said, I still looked forward to the ending, the new elements kept me curious enough to know how they would be handled. And out of all the scenarios I had in mind, the thing that actually happened was the ONLY thing I didn’t want to happen. I am usually not fussy about endings, 99% of the time, I’m one of those readers who are content with whatever the author chooses. But not this time. I felt like it undid everything that I loved about the first two books. I will stop with the vagueness now, and go ahead with the details. The next paragraph will be blanked out because of spoilers.

<Spoiler> My favourite thing about this series is Adelina’s characters arc and her completely surrendering to the darkness within her and gradually becoming a ruthless queen. And considering how I have a weakness for anti-heros and villains and the stories that center them are far and few, the last thing I wanted for her is a redemption arc, I wanted her to embrace that darkness, maybe not stay a villain until the end but I STILL wanted her to be the anti-hero I loved. But her story wrapped up with her sacrificing herself for her sister and redeeming herself to the reader and I? JUST? HATED? THAT? I know it was supposed to be this big moment that would make me emotional but it just fell flat and made me stare at the wall trying not to throw my phone across the room. </End of Spoiler>

My other favourite thing about this book, and the thing that REALLY made me not give up, are the relationship dynamics. They’re so intricate, and most of them stand in a grey area. No pure love. No pure hate. It’s all a Spectrum and I live for that. I liked how Adelina couldn’t help but soften around Magiano which went against everything in here. But what I liked most is the sisterhood, Adelina and Violeta love each other but they’ve also hurt each other so much that they kind of hate each other and that created a really huge and almost irreparable rift in their relationship. But I loved seeing them warm up to each other again. I just wish that didn’t impact the plot and the ending the way it did.


That’s it until next time.

Did you read The Rose Society? If so, what did you think?

Did the ending satisfy you?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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7 thoughts on “The Midnight Star – The ending that feels detached from the series

  1. I had pretty much the same feelings as you (which is partly why I haven’t even written a review yet…). On one hand, the whole anti-heroine thing is absolutely beautiful and Marie Lu does a fantastic job with it. The reason I’m fluctuating between a 3 star and a 4.5 stars is mostly because of the first half, like you mentioned. Personally, I like character driven novels just as much as plot driven ones so when it comes to extensive character development (aka basically following everyone around their daily lives), I don’t mind it too much, but it felt like there wasn’t an endgame. But then again, the whole endgame for Adelina was fulfilled at the end of Rose Society (the whole queen bit) so I took the point in Midnight Star as the slow realization of her faults but that’s a really… aromatic kind of plot that doesn’t really have a direction which can be so frustrating. I don’t know… maybe I’ll just reread it and rate it with my gut-instinct. Lovely review, Fadwa!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    Liked by 1 person

    • I LOVE character driven stories but exactly, like you said, no endgame, there was no clear direction to the story until over halfway through it. Plus, i would’ve liked for Adelina to not have that redemption arc? It was disappointing because everything amounted to her being villaineous but then that ending kind of ruined it.
      Thank you!

      Like

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