Title: The Midnight Star
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Superpowers
Format: Hardcover, 316 pages
Publishing Information: October 11th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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.
The first book in this series, The Young Elites, was one of my favorite books of 2015. I love villain creation stories and Adelina Amouteru was definitely a super dark and interesting villain to learn about. I especially loved the world of superpowers and secret societies that Marie Lu created. The Midnight Star was quite different from the other two books in the series though and wasn’t entirely what I was expecting — overall, I thought it was a decent conclusion to this series but The Young Elites definitely remains my favorite.
The Midnight Star picks up where The Rose Society left off — Adelina has officially left the Daggers/Elites and started her reign as Queen of the Sealands and leader of the Roses. Adelina has become quite power-hungry and wants to conquer as many territories as possible. However, she also has to deal with her growing unpopularity and assassination attempts since she’s frequently seen as a cruel ruler. Her sister, Violetta, has fled from Adelina and has join the Daggers, who are now Adelina’s #1 enemy. As Adelina’s hallucinations and nightmares grow, and a strange darkness starts sweeping cross the land, Adelina finds that she has to work with the Daggers. Together, they need to confront the new danger that’s threatening their world.
In The Midnight Star, we see Adelina at her darkest. It’s become harder for her to distinguish reality from hallucinations and she has become increasingly paranoid. She targets all who are unmarked as revenge for the years that the marked were humiliated. I must admit that it was harder for me to connect with Adelina in this book. She becomes a bit unhinged and hears whispers all over the place so her narration isn’t as focused. Also, I really did miss getting to see more of the other characters. In the two other books, the narration alternated between Adelina and the Daggers. However, the focus in this book was largely on Adelina with little POVs of the characters.
One of my main issues with The Midnight Star is that there wasn’t as much of a plot until towards the second half of the book and we really lost the character-emphasis that was a large part of the first two books. I missed seeing the Daggers with their superpowers and all of the various ways that they used their gifts. It felt like the characters that we grew to love in the first book were treated as minor characters and this became more of an Adelina book rather than anything else.
As expected, the ending of The Midnight Star was absolutely heart-wrenching. Given the nature of this series, I knew that this book couldn’t end with a happily ever ending for every character so I definitely made sure to prepare myself for the worst. With that said, I do think the ending of this book was the best that I could of hoped for and I really loved how Marie Lu tied everything together. It was a bittersweet ending that perfectly fit in with the tone of the series.
Although this book wasn’t as strong as the first two, I still recommend The Young Elites trilogy — it is full of haunting scenes, complex relationships, and wonderfully written characters. If you’re a fan of darker fantasy, I would recommend picking up this series.